Inside Out [Fringe]

Newtown Community Centre, Wellington

25/02/2010 - 27/02/2010

NZ Fringe Festival 2010

Production Details

Picture this! The angst of today’s youth, crazy reality TV and 17th Century Shakespearean drama. In “Inside Out”, set as a play within a play, Sarah Delahunty’s wildly funny and thought provoking play juxtaposes the struggles of today’s youth, the madness of Hamlet, and the shallowness of 21st Century reality TV.

Ruby is looking for a story that can define her happiness. She joins the cast of Hamlet, and as Ophelia’s madness unfolds, her own world becomes exposed.

Jackie, who has come to understand her own experiences, confesses it took so long to put herself together she made sure she did a solid job of it.

Lucas and Abbey play their stage with comic lightness, hardly stopping long enough to contemplate its darker shades; until they are forced to act upon their own prejudices. 

Sasha is searching for a space where she can feel safe enough to face herself. Her isolation amplifies her struggle to stay afloat as she casts herself adrift in the world.

Matt keeps connected to them all. He juggles his stoic role of theatre director in one world, with his sensitive vigil of Sasha in the other.

Interspersed with rehearsals for Hamlet are the zany and superficial game shows that the performers flip into. The TV parody highlights how people in society are pressured to keep on top in today’s culture of trivia, rarely revealing how they actually feel. Amidst this manic roller-coaster ride, a profound message about the dilemmas people might face when dealing with mental distress is explored. As the play delves deeper it uncovers the issues of self-harm and acceptance, depression and inclusion. A haunting repertoire of songs weaves amidst the drama, made more poignant by the character who sings them.

“Skin Deep” productions worked with six young performers in an improvisatory process with Sarah Delahunty to create “Inside Out” -The performers message to their audience is clear: to demystify the experience of self-harm and mental distress.

Newtown Community and Cultural Centre  
Cnr. Rintoul and Colombo Sts.
February  Thur 25th  7.30pm    Fri 26th 7.30pm    Sat 27th 5.30 and 7.30pm
CASH door sales ONLY$15 full / $10 cons / $8 Fringe addict

Eli Joseph – Performer  Wellington
Jess Senior -  Performer  Wellington
Jenn Shelton – Performer  Wellington
Effie Barnett – Performer  Wellington
Poppy Shelton – Performer  Wellington
Oscar Shaw – Performer  Wellington

Refreshing and honest approach relished by young cast

Review by Lyne Pringle 27th Feb 2010

Inside Out is a beautiful, heartfelt rendition of Sarah Delahunty’s great play about depression and the phenomenon of self harming. It sounds heavy but the script is entertaining and moving as well as offering some valuable insights; the use of humour leavens the challenging subject matter.

Sara McCook has good instincts as a director and along with producer Liz Morton they have drawn together a committed cast and crew to create an engaging evening of theatre. The cast enter with gusto through the auditorium and proceed to carry their clear intentions and character arcs throughout the trajectory of the play.

Jenn Shelton – as well as acting well – sings songs from her album about her experience with depression. Funded by the Like Minds media awards from the Mental Health Foundation, it proves a good investment. Her songs are stirring and her voice is fantastic.


Delahunty cleverly weaves in scenes from Shakespeare, relished by the cast, as well as goofy takes on popular TV formats. The game show competition between the Fruit Loops and THE Looney Tunes is edgy, funny and great. I am impressed by her play writing; she has a straight forward and honest approach to the material that is refreshing. Also there is an obvious sympathy for the younger voice which is testimony to her years of working with youth theatre groups.

Oscar Shaw lights up the stage with his natural humour and physicality. Effie Barnett has a gorgeous twinkly stage presence. Poppy Shelton is convincing in her despair and awkward insecurity as well as portraying the deep poetry of Ophelia. Jess Senior brings gravitas and a genuine quality to her work and Eli Joseph is sympathetic and believable in roles that provide a pivot point for the production.

I’m a big fan of this kind of theatre, that creates an opportunity for a particular community to investigate and find solutions for troubling aspects of our modern world. I look forward to the next production of this group.
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