HOW TO _______ US

Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington

19/03/2018 - 21/03/2018

NZ Fringe Festival 2018 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

Teach. Hear. Protect. Lead. Build. See. Break. Understand. Inspire. Crush. Reach. Raise. Frustrate. Tell. Accept. Scare. Trust. Hurt. Annoy. Rescue. Challenge. Embarrass. Approach. Support. Punish. Free. Change. Influence. Release. Push. Guide. Manage. Unite. Ask. Involve. Affect. Defend. Love.

Ever wanted to speak Teen? Wellington Young Actors (Juniors) unlocks the box.

Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Monday 19 – Wednesday 21 March 2018
Concession/Student $10Fringe Addict $12Full $14
Wheelchair access available. 

Youth , Theatre ,

1 hr

The child inside us is cheering

Review by Margaret Austin 21st Mar 2018

I’m the only person buying a drink at the Gryphon Theatre’s bar on the second night of How to ___ Us. That’s because most of the prospective audience milling about in the foyer are under age and probably friends of the cast, who are all between 12 and 15 years old.

The Capital’s Youngest Theatre Company, under the direction of Deborah Rea, has spent the last two terms learning how to make a show and run a theatre company. Tonight is the result.

There are 19 of them. They stream one by one onstage at the show’s start, all babbling at the audience. Is this how we adults sound to them? It’s a fitting prelude to a refreshing straight-from-the-heart series of impressions from the early teen world.

A resounding support of our Prime Minister’s pregnancy gets applause. There’s an automated classroom with numbered pupils. The audience gets canvassed for their views on cyber bullying. An observation on the mating rituals of the young female homo sapiens from a young male homo sapiens is especially delightful.  

With so many performers, exits and entrances need to be managed, and they are. The show has the appearance of being choreographed. Also effective is the inclusion of mime and the use of placards – both eloquent reminders of teenage vulnerability.

But they’re tough when necessary. They’re not bitter, or cynical. And they don’t complain. The climax of the show, in response to a barrage of foolish sounding adult questions, has the stage filled with all 19, each entering with a placard-bearing message. Any of the words we see might usefully fill the gap left in the show’s title.

As adults, we feel exposed but not judged. And the child inside us is cheering.


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