BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

15/07/2016 - 30/07/2016

YOUNG & HUNGRY Festival of New Theatre 2016

Production Details

Samantha wants to bang Ben, Ben is in love with Mandy, Mandy is dating James, James is flirting with Natalie, Natalie confides in Lisa, and Lisa is using Gary.

In a series of episodic scenes, Like Sex captures the awkward, hormonal and selfish nature of teenage relationships in a real and honest way, with the characters revealing their lusty desires through the ‘joys’ of humanity’s favourite taboo.

A play for anyone who has ever been young, horny and confused.

BATS THEATRE Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce
15-30 July 2016

Young & Hungry Festival of New Theatre 
6.30pm – Bloody Hell Jesus (Get Your Own Friends) 
Written by Lucy Craig & Directed by Jane Yonge 
8.00pm – Like Sex 
Written by Nathan Joe & Directed by Samuel Phillips 
9.30pm – Dead Days 
Written by Owen Baxendale & Directed by Debra Mulholland

$18 Full Price – $45 Season Pass (see all 3 plays)
$14 Concession – $36 Season Pass
$13 Group 6+ – $36 Season Pass
$10 School – $25 Season Pass
BOOKINGS: / / 04 802 4175 

About Young and Hungry

For 22 years Young & Hungry and BATS Theatre have been providing young people with a platform to perform, produce and create great theatre – with the Y&H Playwright’s Initiative producing three new Kiwi plays a year and the annual Festival of New Theatre at BATS – Y&H feeds the theatrical hunger and quenches the creative thirst of young uns’ under 25. Our 2016 season explores our relationships in many manifestations – BFFs, one-night-stands, family, flatmates, religion, and Twitter. Find out more about Young and Hungry.


*Access to The Heyday Dome is via stairs, so please contact the BATS Box Office at least 24 hours in advance if you have accessibility requirements so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

Samantha:  Becky Lane
Ben:  Hosea Tapuai
Mandy:  Isadora Lao
James:  Oliver Pol
Natalie:  Emma Rattenbury
Lisa:  Kelsey Robson
Gary:  James Douglas

Assistant Director:  Georgia Pringle
Stage Manager:  Isabella Murray
Set:  Matt Loveranes
Costume:  Dain Pavelich
Lighting:  Aisha Atherton
Sound:  Kerri Nicholson

Thanks to Script Advisor Roy Ward 

Youth , Theatre ,

Festival allows young casts to shine #2

Review by Ewen Coleman 18th Jul 2016

The second play [in this year’s Young and Hungry Festival of New Theatre], Like Sex by Nathan Joe and directed by Samuel Phillips, is, as can be imagined from the title, about sex and how young people deal with it in all its guises, and that it can be a rite of passage for many.

Using a similar formula to Arthur Schnitzler in his 1897 play La Ronde, about the sexual exploits and scandals of his time, and showing that little has changed in over 100 years, Like Sex has seven couples interacting couple-by-couple, with one of the previous couples being part of the next encounter. [More]


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Every scene is a gem refracting a truth

Review by John Smythe 16th Jul 2016

At the beginning of this year, in BATS’ Dome space, Samuel Phillips co-directed a distilled version of German playwright Frank Wedekind’s once-banned late 19th century play Spring Awakening. Now, in the same space and also in the traverse, Phillips has directed Nathan Joe’s Like Sex, based on Austrian playwright Arthur Schnitzler’s once-banned Reigen (Hands Around, better known as La Ronde), written just a few years after Spring Awakening.

While Wedekind dramatised the collision of raging hormones and fast-fusing synapses in 14 year-olds within a morally repressive and educationally ignorant climate, Schnitzler exposed the scandalous sexual behaviour of adults and linked them in a circular chain: The Whore and the Soldier; The Soldier and the Parlour Maid; The Parlour Maid and the Young Gentleman; The Young Gentleman and the Young Wife; The Young Wife and The Husband; The Husband and the Little Miss; The Little Miss and the Poet; The Poet and the Actress; The Actress and the Count; The Count and the Whore. 

Nathan Joe reduces the chain-links to seven. And because this is the post-‘permissive’ 21st century in New Zealand, his cast of sexually active young people are not fraught with hypocritical moral repression or the attendant fear of scandal. They just have their own judgement and feelings – and the judgement and feelings of their partners (or hook-ups) – to contend with.

Samantha (Becky Lane) likes to be wanted and likes having sex, despite the reputation it gives her, and Ben (Hosea Tapuai) doesn’t need too much persuading. Ben’s encounter with Mandy (Isadora Lao), who is cheating on James, confronts him with more honesty than he bargained for so he returns the compliment.

Mandy’s scene with James (Oliver Pol) delves into the veracity of ‘love’ and questions whether anything ‘deep down’ can be trusted. As for ‘honesty’, his judgement of what’s she’s really being when she claims it turns out to be true – or is he better off for knowing? James’ rebound relationship with the inexperienced Natalie (Emma Rattenbury) serves a purpose for them both that produces mixed feelings.

The value of Natalie’s hook-up with James is derided by lesbian Lisa (Kelsey Robson), who enlightens her and heightens her awareness of what it’s all about before declaring her feelings for Natalie. But does their love-making make Natalie gay? As for Lisa – she decides to see if she’s missing out on something by taking nerdy virgin Gary (James Douglas) away from his onscreen comfort zone to experience the real thing. No prizes for guessing she doesn’t turn.

When Gary meets Samantha their mutual soul-searching weighs the value of sex – which really does give her a good, if fleeting, feeling – against the value of friendship. Thus a sense of dramatic resolution is achieved.

All seven actors draw us into their characters’ realities with a conviction that compels our empathy as well as our judgement – and we are totally free to respond according to our own experiences and value systems without ‘editorial’ judgement being imposed. Every scene is a gem refracting a truth we may be shocked to discover, pleased to see confirmed or thankful to be expanded by.

Ensemble transitions between the scenes sketch in a sense of the wider world while cleverly setting props and realigning the energy and focus. All the design elements – set (Matt Loveranes), costume (Dain Pavelich), lighting (Aisha Atherton) and sound (Kerri Nicholson) add great value to the audience experience.

The excited buzz that attends this premiere attests to the quality of the play and production. While it is directly relevant to Young & Hungry core 16-24 demographic, it’s a must-see show for all ages – trust me. Like Sex exemplifies the adage that the more things change the more they stay the same. 

Links to other Young & Hungry reviews:
Bloody Hell Jesus (Get Your Own Friends)
Dead Days


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