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PERFECT ENERGY

Print Version

PERFECTLY WASTED
Devised by Leo Gene Peters & Long Cloud Youth Theatre Summer School
In association with Downstage, Whitireia Polytechnic and a slightly isolated dog

at Downstage Theatre, Wellington
From 1 Feb 2013 to 16 Feb 2013
[1hr 50 mins, incl. interval]

Reviewed by Lynn Freeman, 6 Feb 2013
originally published in Capital Times

Straight after seeing Perfectly Wasted, two young women scantily dressed as cops (Sevens) talked incessantly on the bus home about how wasted they were. Having seen the devised work by young actors reflecting on the rite of passage to adulthood these days, I was more sympathetic to my fellow commuters than I would have been ordinarily. 

Decades on from my own rite of passage, I can't help wondering if it's much tougher for the current generation. Clubbing, texting and social media add degrees of difficulty that, seeing them portrayed this honestly and rawly on stage, force you to feel for them. Not that this is their intention.

Long Cloud Youth Theatre gives young actors an outlet for their imaginations and energy. The energy alone is astonishing, as they hurl themselves around the stage. The 20 or so strong cast have devised the work around nightlife, so we join them as they lie to parents, lie to partners and lie with partners, as they lose themselves in the music and find things out about themselves and each other. It's a heady mix and it's done wonderfully well. Their commitment to the work is absolute and their honestly is impressive.

Helping them turn their thoughts and experiences into an engrossing if disturbing theatre piece is the inventive director Leo Gene Peters.

The set design by designer Oliver Morse not only uses the Downstage space in a whole new inclusive way, but when the stage lights go down, the innocuous looking cardboard boxes and black plastic turn into something absolutely magical. 
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See also reviews by:
 John Smythe
 Laurie Atkinson (The Dominion Post);