Went last night to the opening performances of 2b or nt 2b and 4 Billion Likes!
They’re two different shows, but both performed by 1st Gear Productions Youth Theatre and written and directed by Sarah Delahunty.
2b or nt 2b
This was a well acted and produced performance of six iconic fictional characters in the modern world.
Bronwyn Ensor plays the manipulative Hedda Gabler.
Neenah Dekkers is an emo like Masha.
Michael Trigg is a woeful Hamlet.
Alice Orchard is Irina Sergeyevna Prozorva.
Sylvie McCreanor is a very angry and bitter Antigone.
Georgie Sivier is a babbling lovely Helena.
The play starts with them all ringing various companies for assistance, and there is much humour with some very well known automated call systems trying to cope with their requests.
Then they discover an online bulletin board, where they get chatting to each other. Hedda convinces them all to meet the Bridge to Nowhere (now in the Hutt!) and go out in style. Their meeting is both dramatic and funny. Antigone and Hamlet compete for who has the worst uncle (she wins) while Masha is hilarious talking about how miserable her life is working in the Foxton PostShop.
The play is 60 minutes long, and was very enjoyable. The six actors all succeed in bringing their characters to life, and the blending of historical fiction with the modern world is nicely done.
4 Billion Likes
Neenah Dekkers returns after the interval to play Chloe Anderson from Hamilton in a sole performance. I’d call Chloe a dumb blonde, if she wasn’t brunette. But her character is wonderfully played as a self-obssessed teenager who blogs about her attempts to lose 2 kgs in a few days. Lots of humour as she complains that the webpage that told her she can do it by just drinking water didn’t mention she needs to exercise also – and how can you exercise if you have only been drinking water!
The play is almost non stop laughs for the first two thirds. Dekkers nails the role, and her trite observations have you cracking up. But in an excellent turn of events, the play then deals with a very serious issue, and you go from laughter to breathless silence as the final scene plays out. A real emotional roller coaster.
What is nice is how trite observations at the beginning of the play, turn out to be very meaningful towards the end – and it forms a nice homily to the power of social media to do good, as well as the social.
The two plays combined to produce a very enjoyable, but also thought provoking, night.