By Katrina Kytka
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The future is in good hands when theatre such as this is being made for youth by youth! The turbulence of the teenage years is beautifully depicted in this simple, yet powerful and carefully constructed piece. A mood and atmosphere is established from the start as black clad figures move deftly about the stage, in response to the narrator’s voice.
A collective shout from the otherwise silent dancers, early in the piece, strikes a chord deep inside. I am immediately moved and lean in to the plaintive cries of the narrator. “If I only I had…” seen the warning signs, realised something was not right, known what I know now, stood up for myself, spoken to someone about my concerns, been kinder to myself.
Teenagers can unknowingly form relationships that are toxic and dangerous. It can happen, no matter your background and upbringing. In just 35 minutes this story is played out through the integration of dance, movement, music and diary entries. Anxiety, rejection, loneliness and the need for a sense of belonging all come to the fore, but so too does resilience and growth.
These teenage performers are warriors for inner strength, self- worth and speaking out in troubled times. The show culminates with a confronting litany of statistics including suicide, violence, depression, anxiety and mental health issues before directing the audience to available help lines and strongly encouraging anyone in need to seek help, not to remain silent and alone.
This show could easily go on and do a tour of high schools and be very well received. It targets issues familiar to all teenagers and does so with skill, consideration and a message of hope. A heartening, uplifting and commendable performance! Accolades to all involved.
mindshare will be posting reviews of shows with mental health themes on our blog and social media channels throughout Adelaide Fringe. Stay tuned for more reflections from contributors living with mental health challenges and/or working in the sector.