24 October 2013

FESTIVAL: Teenage Riot

Teenage Riot
Ontroerend Goed, Melbourne Festival
15 October 2013
Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne
to 18 October

Belgium’s Ontroerend Goed makes theatre with teenagers for adults. It’s nothing like an end-of-year school concert; this company tours the world.

In Teenage Riot, eight 17ish teens shut themselves in a large box. Hidden from curious/suspicious adult eyes, the space is theirs and they let the audience peek with a hand-held camera.

Like confessing on the internet, the camera offers an intimacy and a distance and lets the performers (and co-creators) control what’s seen.

From a hand covering the view of a bikini-clad girl to close ups of ambiguous fondled flesh, they reveal genuine teen frustration and, with pedophile and fingering jokes, a tongue-in-cheek look at what adults expect of teen angst.

They still yell at the “so awful wrong” adults, but there are times when they should be screaming because adults aren’t looking after or loving them. But this anger is swirled with friendship and a humour that’s as much about the audience as the performers.

As it continues, the need to physically see the performers in the box is overwhelming, even if they don’t seek approval or our acknowledgement of remembering what it’s like to not have the right words.

This first appeared at issimomag.com.

And here's Kerith Manderson-Galvin's wonderful response on AussieTheatre.com.

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