PUBERTY The Musical

BATS Theatre, The Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

13/03/2020 - 16/03/2020

NZ Fringe Festival 2020

Production Details


“Hey Kiddo, come sit down. Can we talk for a sec? You’re growing up now and you might notice that your body is going through some changes. That can be kinda weird and maybe a bit scary. If you’ve got any questions – I’m gonna leave this book right here.”

Wellington’s award-winning youth theatre company is here to make sense of the weirdest time of your life with an original, devised anti-musical.

Wellington Young Actors are a training group of 13-18 year old actors. Established in 2013, the group is directed by Deborah Rea who trains the company in all aspects of devising, production, design, marketing and funding.

The Heyday Dome
13 – 16 March 2020
7pm except Sunday at 7pm
Full Price $22
Group 6+ $20
Concession Price $17
Addict Cardholder $15

*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.

Theatre , Musical ,

1 hr

Should tour to schools all over New Zealand!

Review by Brett Adam 14th Mar 2020

One of the main challenges facing youth theatre is finding the right balance between honouring the concerns and issues facing the young participants, with producing a show that is entertaining and accessible to a wider audience. Puberty the Musical knocks it right out of the park.  

A selection of skits and songs addressing various symptoms of puberty, this hour-long show is totally entertaining and hilarious from go to whoa. As we enter the space the (very large!) ensemble is already on stage: their energy is palpable and the audience can’t help but be affected by it.  

What follows is a number of sketches that are clever, funny and totally relatable: duelling female sanitary products; singing pimples; police interrogation of underarm hair; an unwelcome pink-hatted guest; nocturnal emission-based lifeforms … Nothing is off-limits for this show.

The ensemble has created a number of songs, sketches and parodies (The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Wildlife documentaries, game shows) to explain the physiological effects of puberty as well as young people’s emotional reactions to them.

None of the individual acts outstay their welcome, there are no dull moments in the show and the pacing is spot on. (There are a number of current Fringe shows created by adults that could learn a thing or two from this bunch about how to make an engaging and confident piece of theatre).

Puberty the Musical is like a cross between the Netflix shows Sex Education and My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It is a celebration (rather than a shaming) of young people’s experiences. Wellington Young Actors have chosen to use humour to address these often tricky and potentially embarrassing issues. Almost every conceivable puberty-related experience is addressed: menstruation, wet dreams, trans youth experiences, breaking voices, body odour, mood swings, how to find the correct bra size, period poverty … This piece should tour to schools all over New Zealand!

There are some very strong performers here and every single actor on stage contributes to the success of the whole. Very occasionally the voices are a little too quiet and the singing in the group songs strays off key but generally this is an absolute joy to watch.

The director of Wellington Young Actors, Deborah Rea, has done a brilliant job of assisting these young people in bringing their worries about a difficult time in their lives to the stage in an unapologetically and ultimately affirming way.


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