Kids Killing Kids

Kids Killing Kids
A play about plays and the Piony people. Devised, written and performed by David Finnigan, Georgie McAuley, Jordan Prosser and Sam Burns-Warr. MKA and Q Theatre Company in association with Melbourne Fringe Festival and Crack Theatre Festival. Fringe Hub – the Warehouse - 20 September to 3 October, 2013. Newcastle – 5 October. Penrith – Q Theatre – 17 - 19 October.

Kids Killing Kids is one out of the bag and not to be missed due to questions of ethics and Theatre Making it broaches, particularly in regard to unwitting appropriation.  This work sits right on a cultural pulse, albeit, seemingly inadvertently. Hey sometimes, creative choices have a strange way of emerging from the ether, don’t they?

Four young vibrant, energetic Theatre Makers divulge an engrossing and thought-provoking tag team presentation about their experiences, conceptualizing and then assisting in the crafting of a piece of Theatre, Battalia Royale, with the Sipat Lawin Ensemble in Manila.  This work is predominately about the unexpected outcomes.

The live site specific piece created was modeled on a Japanese film Battle Royale (2000) that cries comparison with Hunger Games in that it is about the enforced annihilation of a group of young people by each other. 

Naïve, yet well intentioned, there can be no doubt that all four Theatre Makers experienced the foray into an exotic county to craft theatre as a ‘baptism by fire’.  They didn’t know that they were working with a powder keg until the production got underway and attracted huge audiences and became ‘a social media phenomena’.   

Some things seem to go unexplained or unaddressed in this Fringe show. For example why the writers did not make it to Manila to catch initial performances but only managed to witness the last night with its numerous actor casualties. Nevertheless heaps of raw and smarting truth is addressed. 

Fascinatingly it would seem that Battalia Royale twisted performance back towards ritual enactment, engaged wholeheartedly with the audience, and in turn, rendered the performers vulnerable to the passion their enactment provoked, from their audiences.  The playing of a violent game melds into an overpowering release and scoops up fervor in its wake.

This doco/drama presentation reminds us that Theatre is rooted in ritual and the incredible power the medium of Theatre can actually hold - but seldom elicits - certainly in the West.

Four and a half stars.  And where did the other half a star go? Well I think I am just being picky because it’s not on concept, content, courage or direction - but on vocal presentation. 

Suzanne Sandow

Directed by Bridget Balodis

Designed by Melanie Koomen

Photography by Sarah Walker

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.