Puppies, cnr Tory & Vivian Streets, Wellington

24/02/2014 - 26/02/2014

The Office at CBD Bar, 208 Madras St, Christchurch

21/10/2014 - 25/10/2014

Q Theatre, The Vault, Auckland

10/02/2015 - 14/02/2015

NZ Fringe Festival 2014

Christchurch Fringe 2014

Auckland Fringe 2015

Production Details

Go ahead… Pretend you don’t know who we are…  

Suri Cruise and Shiloh PittJolie speak out for the first time Wellington, New Zealand, February 24th-26th 2014 – A cleverly crafted piece of contemporary theatre by up and coming Auckland theatremakers comes to Puppies for Fringe. 

Growing up in today’s hyperpublic world is tough, even when the whole world doesn’t know your name.  Suri Cruise and Shiloh JoliePitt speak out for the first time about life as only they know it.

Unsure of who they can trust, Suri and Shiloh seek an escape from the pressures of being themselves and ultimately discover how scathing, intimidating and exhilarating their watchers can be. It’s a train crash we know you’ve been longing to watch, and We Are Sailors Productions serves it up in this years Fringe Festival. 

You are creeps. Give them your fullest attention. 

“We want to explore the disturbingly twisted effects that fame, notoriety and constant exposure can have on a child. Life has enough of a strange effect on most people, what happens when your life is a whirlwind of paparazzi flash bulbs?” asks Smith-Roy. 

Adds Borwick, “Privacy is a thing of the past, and yet isolation is rampant. As young people reveal ever more of themselves they also seem to get a whole lot lonelier. This is a show about all young people.”

We are Sailors Productions (Auckland) was formed in 2012 by several graduates of Unitec’s Acting Program. Their first work, ‘Feature Wall’ received great reviews as part of Short + Sweet 2013. 

Phoebe Borwick and Susannah Smith-Roy have been involved in several television and theatre projects since graduating in 2011, working with companies such as Massive Theatre Company, Red Leap, and People who play with Theatre, as well as working on screen projects including TV’s .Shortland Street and Super City 2. 

Dates: February 24th – 26th, 2014 
Time: 7pm 
Puppies Bar, 118 Tory Street, Wellington Central 
Entry by Koha 
Contains offensive language 
To book email 

Christchurch Fringe 2014 
Dates: October 21st – 25th 2014
Time: 7pm (60mins)
Venue: The Office CBD, 208 Madras Street
Tickets: $12 concession/$18 standard


Suri vs. Shiloh comes to Auckland Fringe after earning high praise in knockout seasons in the 2014 Wellington and Christchurch Fringe Festivals.

Q Theatre Vault
10 – 14 Feb 2015 

Too Cruisey

Review by Amanda Leo 15th Feb 2015

From the offset, what you might expect out of Suri. Vs. Shiloh seems clear. Our two fictionalized protagonists of real life Suri Cruise, daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, daughter of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, are alive on social media, if you have visited the play’s facebook page. Celebrity and popular culture references wrapped up in a comedy about the fictional lives of two child celebrities? Check.

The central narrative thread follows the lives of Suri Cruise (Phoebe Borwick) and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt (Susannah Smith-Roy). The play is set in 2024 where celebrity figures like Beyonce head the world’s largest and most powerful nations. Celebrity involvement with global issues such as poverty are therefore brought to the forefront and questioned as asinine publicity stunts that do little to actually help those they are campaigning for. [More]


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Just an excuse to giggle at frivolous celebrities

Review by Dione Joseph 11th Feb 2015

So we know that a large portion of the world we live in today is obsessed by celebrity culture. Not just the innocent ‘oh so who’s dating who NOW?’ superficial gossip that you could pick up in your local Woman’s Weekly, but the slightly scarier version: the fans that willingly use the plastic crammed in their designer wallets to put more plastic into their butts and boobs in a last bid attempt to look like clones of their idols.

And according to the creators of Suri vs Shiloh, a quick fast forward to 2025 shows that these mind-addled star struck fans will have lost none of their former enthusiasm, gravitating with certainty to the next generation of Hollywood cherubs. Except of course now the sweet innocence of TomKat ’n’ Brangelina’s ‘little girls’, well, isn’t quite so sweet anymore. Not to mention they seem to have more than a few issues that dominate their first world problems. 

Susannah Smith-Roy and Phoebe Borwick, play the lead roles of Suri and Shiloh respectively. The story of these two born-into-fame celebs is essentially a long overdue coming-of-age chronicle celebrating the trivial lives of the rich and famous.  

Scandalous headlines are broadcast from across the globe (which in this fame-centric culture is limited to the latest from Hollywood and the BBC’s Sixteen Minutes) while the girls themselves alternatingly reveal moments of emotional collapse. For instance, Shiloh simply can’t go through with her ‘nude for food’ campaign and Suri’s desire for rebellion against her father takes her to the all too clichéd desire to rob a bank; ironic, considering cash is the one shortage she’s never had to encounter.

Throw into the mix a couple of star-crazed Aussie teenage stalkers with ridiculously exaggerated bogan accents, a few protective if somewhat manic parental displays by Brangelina alongside a Peter Pan version of Tom Cruise; and of course, a variety of therapists, prison guards, talk-show hosts, all of whom are one-dimensional, and it’s a hairy rollercoaster ride for our Hollywood princesses.

The show’s underlying theme vaguely seems to assert the old adage that no matter who you are, it’s a lonely ride being young and beautiful and rich, especially in this technology indoctrinated world where your cyberspace footprint is followed by millions worldwide.

O boo hoo.

Because what’s really disappointing is that while both actors are incredibly versatile, with a swathe of impressive skills, the narrative is utterly bland. Both Smith-Roy and Borwick prance, parade and strut their stuff but their American accents are terrible, the overdone Australian stereotypes are boring and the flashback to Shiloh’s tour to Japan is offensive. If this is meant to be satire then the work needs extensive dramaturgical re-structuring to make it any more than an excuse to giggle at frivolous celebrities.

It seems a pity that director Lana Walters (who, along with Roy-Smith and Borwick, co-wrote the show) seems to be focused more on creating opportunities for quick guffaws, speedy costume changes and Tom Cruise voiceovers that never quite hit the mark. The result is an unrelentingly tortuous tale of these two divas’ lives; a narrative that is unfortunately as familiar as it is predictable. 

And wait, isn’t the show called Suri vs Shiloh? Sorry girls, but if the sum of animosity between our two leads is supposed to be encapsulated in an arduous badly rhymed exchange then it might need a completely new title. 


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High energy, inventive, outlandish

Review by Erin Harrington 22nd Oct 2014

This week, in American celebrity gossip, this year’s most photographed former Disney star Amanda Bynes was pursued by the press as her parents committed her to psychiatric care, Bristol Palin was secretly recorded dropping the c-bomb when complaining to cops after a drunken family brawl, and former squeaky-clean teen singer Justin Bieber was visited by the cops, again, after another raging all-nighter at his Beverly Hills condo.

This combination of fine-grained attention and media hysteria forms the backdrop for Suri vs Shiloh, a fast-paced and highly enjoyable comic two-hander about growing up (and screwing up) in the spotlight. 

The show opens like a sitcom: in the not-too-distant future, BFFs Suri Cruise (Susannah Smith-Roy), professional clothes horse and A-list actress, and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt (Phoebe Borwick), social justice crusader and (allegedly?) reluctant celebrity, are young adults trying to navigate their way in a celebrity culture populated by burnout and screw ups, while sitting firmly in the shadows of their über-famous parents.

The prospect of Suri winning an Academy award for an offensive role in a terrible movie (and having to attend the Oscars as her father’s date) is the catalyst for an extreme blow-out that will see Suri and Shiloh attempting to push back against the white noise of perpetual media scrutiny. 

This show is a very pointed and often heavy-handed critique of celebrity culture and the toxic symbiosis between stars, their fans and the media. Suri and Shiloh’s highly public childhoods have damaged them in ways both obvious and insidious, and the obsession of fans and media alike dehumanise the women and turn them into little more than walking commodities, all surface and image, available for public consumption 24-7.

On one hand, the women crave to be left alone to live their own lives. On the other, if they are no longer adored and fetishised, will they cease to be?

Borwick and Smith-Roy present Suri and Shiloh as deeply flawed but fundamentally likable characters, marked as vaguely ‘normal’ by their Kiwi accents. They are offset by a cast of sharply-drawn caricatures, distinguished by a range of comedy accents and some very deft physical characterisations.

These fans, television hosts, psychoanalysts, cops and celebrities populate a world that, while clearly satirical, isn’t that far from the truth. The most on-the-nose appraisal of this comes from the hilarious portrayal of two gauche Australian fangirls who abscond from their youth group’s American tour to stalk the two starlets and report back to their fellow Suri-Cruisers and Shi-Guys online, effectively displacing their adoration of one object of worship in favour of two others.

The show incorporates video elements – including a ridiculous trailer for Suri’s equally ridiculous blockbuster movie – and some well-pitched sound design from production designer and operator Chantelle Koning-Dell. Suri and Shiloh are dressed in clothes from local boutique Dark Division, and these pieces of urban chic are offset by a collection of silly hats and props that aid in the creation of the cartoonish figures that circle around them. 

A lot of this show plays pretty fast and loose – some of the quick transitions and rapid dialogue verge on the sloppy, and some of the narrative arc and character development needs a fair bit of smoothing out – but by the end of the show I don’t really care and neither does the rest of the highly appreciative audience. The high energy, inventive staging and outlandish characters more than make up for the show’s structural issues, and Suri vs Shiloh is very funny and a bloody good time.


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Refreshing satire delivered with energy, humour and moments of truth

Review by Maryanne Cathro 25th Feb 2014

It’s the future. Shiloh Jolie-Pitt and Suri Cruise are now young women, grown up in the spotlight of their parents’ and their own celebrity. What does that do to a person? 

Susannah Smith-Roy (Suri) and Phoebe Borwick (Shiloh) entertain us with their take on the scenario. They are bonded by their shared experiences, in an exclusive club with so few members and so many fans, the two lost girls do yoga together, and come up with ideas that, well, get them into trouble. 

There are many funny moments in this show – clever use of props, amazing guest appearances by the Jolie-Pitt parents (or incredible look-alikes, I am still wondering which!). Obsessed fans, eccentric therapists – so many characters join our two protagonists to help the events unfold. We even get a scene in blank verse!  

The story is told with such energy and humour, using simple transformations between characters, yet I never felt confused about who was doing what.  

My only gripe is that I would have loved to hear more satire on the specifics of these two lives – Christian Science doesn’t even get a mention, nor the ‘TomKat’ animosity – but then the focus is firmly on the here and now of 2024, and among all the nonsense, there are some moments of truth about the destructive impact of too much limelight and not enough chores.  

This show is inexplicably free, with the opportunity to pay a koha upon exit.  I’ve paid a lot to see theatre far less worthy than this refreshing bit of satire. My suggestion is to go see it, and have some cash on hand in case you too decide it is worth supporting these talented young theatre professionals.


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