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Teen Angst: A Senior Ensemble Production - Shopfront Arts Co-Op (NSW)

Written and Directed by Lucy Heffernan in collaboration with the 2022 Senior Ensemble

Reviewed by Justin Clarke

There's nothing like a rock cabaret to capture the angst that inspired My Chemical Romance's famous lyric - "teenagers scare the living sh*t out of me". As a matter of fact, angst in all its forms, was the thematic central point of the 2022 Senior Ensemble’s new musical, Teen Angst at Shopfront Arts Co-Op.

Devised in collaboration with writer and director Lucy Heffernan, Teen Angst and its cast of four young performers brings you moments of joy and anxiety, ultimately asking you to reflect on how our young people see the world.

Cast members Jack Degen, Thomas Scekic, Astra Milne, and filling in for Miah Tito-Barratt, actor and playwright, Lana Filies, each had their own moment of storytelling. We were taken through stories of battles with parents, a teenagers love for video games, the “joys” of being a goth, and those Principals (or in this case, Princi-Pal) who just always want to be your friend.

An irreverently silly and fun time was had by the young, budding performers as they sang, rapped, and danced their way through each tale.

Big props go to Filies who filled in with ease into the role next to the other performers without overshadowing them with her experience. She gave a generous performance that bolstered the confidence of her fellow performers, as well as giving them space to bounce off her energy.

Lighting Design by Tyler Fitzpatrick in collaboration with the Shopfront Technical Theatre Workshop Participants was superb. With a splash of pinks and blues thrown across the white box of the stage and strikingly bright spots lighting the performers from all angles, the moods of the show were set clearly. One moment when a whisp of smoke was being pulled towards bright pink LED’s added an eerie atmosphere to the discussions of graveyards, was an especially nice touch.

It's always a joy watching young theatre makers devise and create something that they can call their own. This was fully felt through the energy and warmth that they portrayed on stage. For those wanting to support young performers and inspire your little ones to take up the craft, Teen Angst fits the bill.

Reviewer Rating:

3.5 Stars

Images: Clare Hawley

Teen Angst played at the Shopfront Arts Co-Op from 7th-10th July. You can find out more about Shopfront here.


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