Any concerns that live theatre might not survive the iPod generation's penchant for micro-entertainment are completely blown away by the explosion of youthful energy unleashed at this year's Young & Hungry showcase.

The festival presents three short plays that can be viewed individually or seen in a package deal of three in one night.

First up is Exchange by Lauren Jackson which takes us back to the early 90s where a mixed bunch of Kiwi exchange students experience German culture a few years after the dismantling of the Berlin wall.

Writer/director Lauren Jackson evokes the bewilderment of being dropped into a foreign environment and portrays some touching moments of growth and awaking.

Suivai Autagavaia captures the amazed sense of liberation experienced by a Samoan girl as she masters the intricacies of Berlin's S-Bahn, while Guillym Davenport shows a Westie punk expanding his own sense of identity through an unsettling liaison with an amorous East German housewife.

The second play Thinning by Eli Kent delivers an up-to-the-minute report on the inscrutable psyche of the generation-Y teenagers who are far too fluid and protean to be nailed down by any generational tag.

The play explores the potentially fertile wasteland that students inhabit between leaving school and figuring out what to do with their lives. The narrative resembles a road trip without any destination and while the structure lacks dramatic tension it is completely appropriate for a play about aimlessness.

The journey is enlivened by Eli Kent's brilliantly inventive wordplay, some intriguing excursions into mythology and the uniformly excellent cast who expertly reveal the emotional turmoil lurking beneath their chilled out exteriors.

The last offering Fitz Bunny: Lust for Glory is in a league of its own and invents a new genre that might be called camp cartoon cabaret. Playwright and cartoonist Grant Buist presents a fully fledged musical complete with live band, great songs and wild dance routines.

The show is unlike anything you are likely to experience on stage but vaguely recalls the weird vitality of the Rocky Horror Picture Show or the surreal frenzy of early Split Enz performances.

It is not difficult to imagine Fitz Bunny taking her place alongside the Kiwi icons from Footrot Flats - though I wouldn't fancy Dog's chances of surviving if he shared a stage with the narcissistic rabbit who nurses a deeply psychotic lust for revenge after her family was massacred by the calicivirus.

Watching the show is like witnessing high-wire acrobatics - you keep expecting it to come crashing down through the sheer improbability of the comic-book plot, but the spectacle is sustained by its own bravado and wildly anarchic energy of the superb cast.

Young & Hungry Festival of New Theatre is playing at the Basement until July 24.