Faith, fads, fun in drama

BY ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 11:24 07/08/2012
07-KPN-divineWEB
Andrea O'Neil

DIVINE COMEDY: Tawa College students Briana Boele van Hensbroek, Braeden Foster and Rohan Liley play corporate angels overseeing a materialistic religion in their upcoming production Desperate Antics.

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PREVIEW: Shopping is a religion for teenagers, the joke goes, but an upcoming Tawa College production takes a closer look at the link between consumerism and faith.

The college is in the midst of intense rehearsals for Desperate Antics, a black comedy by Auckland playwright Kevin Keys.

The play centres on Fad, a religion which controls the play's characters from cradle to grave. A series of sketches poke fun at society's materialistic obsessions, from fashion victims to gym addicts.

Overseeing fad's reign on earth are three "corporate angels", played by students Rohan Liley and Briana Boele van Hensbroek, both 14, and Braeden Foster, 18.

"It looks at how consumerism has become a new religion," Rohan says. "Fad is god."

The play, which all three actors describe as hilarious despite its thought-provoking subject matter, is hugely relevant to teenagers, Rohan says. "It's what you let yourself be - a slave to that or not," he says. "I think our generation needs to have a bit more personal choice."

Over the course of the play wars are fought in the name of Fad, but its characters also start to wake up and challenge it.

Students in the audience will get a huge kick out of seeing their fads held up to mockery, Briana says. "College is a big part of people's lives. It's going to be something to do with them and their society," she says. "There are lots of examples in our lives - girls being really obsessed with how they look because of these influences."

The $150 "ugg pants" everybody seems to wear on mufti days are the perfect example of a materialistic fad at Tawa College, Braeden says, but students' materialism can be seen every day.

Desperate Antics and The End of the World as we Know It double bill, August 15-18, 7pm. Tickets $14 adults $8 students, from Tawa College office or Drummond pharmacy.

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