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Last updated 07:36 05/04/2012
Cherie Jacobson
Sense of humour: Co-writers Cherie Jacobson, left, and Alex Lodge.

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It's really hard being a successful romance writer with a massive online following, especially when you don't realise the whole world is laughing at you.

The team behind Tea for Toot is back with a new New Zealand comedy about the perils of life and literature online.

Nucking Futs follows self-published online author Cleo Kline as she attempts to gain internet celebrity status by hiring a documentary crew to follow her every move.

Co-writer Cherie Jacobson said the play was a comic look at internet addiction and the consequences of going viral.

"Nucking Futs is a tongue-in-cheek look at self-made celebrity, online publishing and people who really shouldn't be allowed on the internet.

"An article entitled How Not to Respond to Reviews caught our attention last year and the show grew from that," she said.

In 2011, real-life author Jacqueline Howett took offence at an unfavourable review of her e-book and made a series of vitriolic forum comments defending her work.

With its trademark dark humour, full.stop.theatre uses Nucking Futs to explore how the internet can feed delusions of grandeur and prey on people's naivety for the amusement of others.

Director Ed Watson said that although the internet was such a big part of everyday life, its use as a powerful tool was often overlooked.

"Misuse it and it can ruin lives, but, conversely, it can also bring success," Watson said.

With the documentary element, Nucking Futs echoed the mockumentary-style of comedy used in shows like The Office and Modern Family, said Watson.

"But we're adding a new twist where the audience is watching a play, about watching a film crew, who are watching a train wreck unfold."

In the lead-up to opening night, full.stop.theatre has created an online comedy campaign to encourage discussion about the ideas in the show.

Podcasts are available at fullstoptheatre.podbean.com.

Nucking Futs is on at Bats Theatre from April 12 to 21.

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- The Wellingtonian

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