01/02/2013 - 16/02/2013
1 – 16 Feb at Downstage
The stories of real people come alive on stage when Long Cloud Youth Theatre create a unique theatre experience full of sweet, surreal, profound and profane moments.
A night on the town…
Nights out become the stuff of legend, our own personal myths; where we risk touching heaven, or even (if we’re lucky) each other.
Perfectly Wasted aims to capture all the beautiful energy of youth, as well as the painful, ugly situations on a quest for the perfect night out in Wellington. It is a party, a celebration, a search for connection, tequila and Lynx body spray.
Changing the shape of Downstage…
This show also marks the first creative reconfiguration of the Downstage auditorium space since 2010’s Apollo 13: Mission Control. The major performance will take place ‘in the round’, while the production will also utilise other spaces within the Hannah Playhouse to create a distinctly new experience for Downstage visitors.
The return of Long Cloud…
This show marks the third partnership between Downstage and the Long Cloud Youth TheatreSummer School programme. Where previously the students presented established plays such as Daughters of Heaven, The Portrait of Dorian Gray and Vernon God Little, Company Director Aaron Cortesi (previously seen at Downstage in Mark Twain and Me in Maoriland and Goodnight The End) has since guided the participants to use their own experiences as young people living here and now.
Long Cloud Youth Theatre is a hothouse for New Zealand’s most exciting young acting talent. Run by Whitireia Performance Centre and based in Wellington, Long Cloud is training and production company for people aged 16-21.
This year’s Summer School project is created under the leadership of director Leo Gene Peters, whose previous award-winning work includes Awhi Tapu and Death and the Dreamlife of Elephants at Downstage in 2011.
Elephants was created by Leo Gene Peters’ company A Slightly Isolated Dog Ltd, Wellington-based performance company that has been creating new devised theatre since 2005. They aim to build performance through dialogue with the public.
A space to experiment…
Downstage is once again providing the opportunity for Long Cloud to present its students’ work in a professional environment as part of its commitment to developing the future of New Zealand performing arts. Downstage Director/CEO Hilary Beaton says:
“Downstage has always been a dynamic space for experimentation, not just a venue. It’s very exciting to be showcasing the versatility of this building – a work of art in its own right – and to be placing that opportunity in the hands of such talented and committed young artists.”
All shows 7.30pm
Wed 30 Jan – Public Preview
Fri 1 Feb – Opening Night
Sat 2 Feb | Thu 7 Feb | Fri 8 Feb | Sat 9 Feb | Tue 12 Feb | Wed 13 Feb | Thu 14 Feb | Fri 15 Feb | Sat 16 Feb – Closing Night
Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (04) 801 6946 or in person at Downstage’s box office.
Lily della Porta
Director: Leo Gene Peters
Artistic Director LCYT: Aaron Cortesi
Production & Stage Manager: Paul Tozer
Sound + AV Designer/Operator: Matt Eller
Set and Publicity Designer: Oliver Morse
Lighting and Production Assistant: Jason Longstaff
Downstage Liason: Alana Kelly
1hr 50 mins, incl. interval
Review by Lynn Freeman 08th Feb 2013
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.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer
Opportunity wasted as audience left in the dark
Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 04th Feb 2013
Watching Perfectly Wasted is like being asked to a party and then finding yourself barred from entering. You can see and hear most of what’s going on but not all and you are no more involved than you are when walking hurriedly through Courtenay Place on a rowdy Saturday night.
A mass of young people dancing, singing, fighting, binge drinking, playing spin the bottle, vomiting in a toilet, cautiously or nervously experimenting with drugs, sex, and alcohol may reflect what is actually going on just outside the theatre but it doesn’t tell us anything more.
Perfectly Wasted is a pale, sanitised kaleidoscopic reflection of the party that is Courtenay Place, not art. Surely we need some sort of view or attitude expressed about all this hedonistic activity. Apart from the punning title of the show there is none. And at almost two hours, including an interval, that’s a long time to be without either a plot or some sympathetic characters or some sort of structure to hold it all together.
Who are all these people? As at many a party, we never get to know any of them because the focus keeps constantly shifting from a crowd to a group to an occasional individual – a young man serenading at 4 a.m. his girlfriend who has dumped him – and then back to the crowd yet again.
At one point I counted six small groups dotted about the levels of the set, and even though a roving microphone eavesdropped on them it was impossible to hear or even see two or three of them from where I was seated, which is one of the drawbacks of theatre-in-the-round.
However, there was one bright moment when an actor read a brief but illuminating speech which was presumably from a transcript of an interview held by a cast member in his or her research. The interviewee should be quickly found and asked for more of his acute observations on the social activities of young Kiwis. For a couple of minutes Perfectly Wasted connected with its audience.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer