No script, no set, no boundary but something real to convey

19:42, May 05 2014
Yo Future
NOVEL APPROACH: Yo Future cast members, from left, Shane Henderson, 15, Michaela Hoffman, 16, and James Eunson, 16, prepare for their show, which opens on Wednesday night as part of the Southland Festival of the Arts. 

Contemporary clowning. Dystopia. Anger. Displacement. Millennials. Hip-hop. Yo, future!

It's been a long couple of weeks at Repertory House, but director Jo Randerson still looks as calm as when she stepped off the plane two short weeks ago.

The award-winning writer, director and performer has been in the city directing a devised piece - a way of saying there's a "physical score" but the director and performers of the play find the actual performance themselves.

Fourteen actors and performers, all under 22, have been working furiously, and, for most, differently, to create a show that is dynamic, exciting and with something real to say.

While this is the third time that Yo Future has been performed, Invercargill has held a lot of pleasant surprises for Randerson.

"Here in Invercargill I've definitely felt real musical theatre strength, physicality strength, and the performers are really strong in the form of music and dancing," she said.


And that's all crucial stuff.

Yo Future is a frantic mix of play, dance, music and theatre that investigates the fears and fascinations of the millennial generation, those born after 1984.

The play - piece, performance, concert, circus - talks about the loss of voice today's youth have to deal with at a time when they are able to talk to the entire word with the swipe of a screen.

It talks about the future of the planet. It talks about the mean kids and the geeks.

It has plenty to say. And that means a lot of work.

But Randerson has been thrilled with the support she's been given.

"I've found the community really strong down here," Randerson said.

"It's really great to make theatre in that sort of environment."

The show itself has been a challenge, not just because of time constraints but because for most of the cast it is an entirely different approach to creating theatre.

No script, no set, no boundaries.

"The show is different; it's quite new - engaging with the audience, looking them in the eye - and it feels great to see the cast doing something out of their zone and really excelling at it."

Yo Future is supported by Creative New Zealand and the Invercargill Repertory Society.


Tomorrow until Friday, 7.30pm.

Repertory House, corner of Jed and Esk streets, Invercargill.

Book at i-SITE or online at

Tickets $15 for adults, $5 for children and students.

The Southland Times