09 June 2015

Y&H Reviews of Second Afterlife

The Young and Hungry Arts Trust Ambassadors are a group of keen bean Year 12 & 13 students, who attend shows at Circa and others theatres throughout the year and write reviews.  They joined us at Second Afterlife on Tuesday night.  Here are some of the reviews for you to enjoy!

A Must See for Internet Lovers

Reviewed by Miriam Roberts-Thomson, Newlands College 

Second Afterlife, written by Ralph McCubbin Howell and directed by Kerryn Palmer was an amazing show filled with humour and pop culture references. The portrayal of the characters different dimensions and developments definitely did the show justice, and I would highly recommend it.

The use of projectors was a very effective way to indicate the setting, as it meant we were able to see clearly which world we were in at the time. For example, when Dan was fighting his emo self from Bebo, the Bebo logo was able to be seen clearly indicating that that was where he was. For the flashbacks, the projected lights came off, indicating that they weren’t in the ‘second afterlife’ but instead in the real world. When the projected lights came back on it was clear that they were back in the afterlife, making the transitions between the two settings very smooth and pleasing to watch.

The acting was stunning, and the actors definitely did a great job at showing the essence of their characters. Michael Hebenton showed the journey that his character, Dan, went through clearly as he developed both mentally and physically along the way. The supporting actors did a wonderful job transitioning between fed up friends and fiendish foes, and Ruby Hansen’s guide did an amazing job showing a sarcastic compatriate and a sinister ex-profile.

Overall I would say that Second Afterlife was an amazing show, and a must see for internet lovers. Scripting was filled with many references to popular culture, and it hints at many other stories such as The Wizard of Oz and A Christmas Carol so there is something for everyone.

'EMO Dan', photograph by Stephen A'Court

A Second Viewing of Second Afterlife

Reviewed by Tabatha Billington, St Catherine’s College

In 2014 I was lucky enough to see Second Afterlife as part of the Young & Hungry Festival, and I was completely blown away. Comedic, amusing, entertaining, brilliant, a night to remember. Now, almost a year later, I have had the opportunity to go to a second viewing of the great show.

I was not disappointed, it was equally as amazing as I remembered, however the plot twists of course less surprising and suspense less impactful. The evening was great, jokes funny, staging well timed and thought out. The new set was a lovely improvement, and the use of the DJ was absolutely hilarious and a great addition. The roles were played convincingly and I absolutely loved it the plot is intricate and eventful, with the flashbacks being a lovely addition; the profiles were amusing and very realistic. I felt the play was relatable as so many of us in this generation have a digital past which we may not all be proud of but have to admit and accept them as part of our history.

There were some technical things, such as the screens being blurry and difficult to read and some of the jokes were lost on me. I also am not familiar with the works the play was based off, so any references there were lost on me as well. However I didn’t feel that this hindered the enjoyment or entertainment factor of the play.

Overall it was a great night out full of laughs and fun. I would definitely go see it a third time!

The onstage DJ in Second Afterlife, photograph by Stephen A'Court

A Play for All Audiences

Reviewed by Thomas Simpson, St Patrick’s College

Second Afterlife is not just a lighthearted comedy. While it does have its comedic parts, it is not so two-dimensional. For it does have deeper meanings involved - what it means to communicate, embracing our past and using it as a learning tool, and these are what set it apart from other plays of its type.

Don't get me wrong. This play is still perfect to see if you are wanting a lighthearted laugh, too. The plot line sets itself up for success, with the typical teenage-like humour making it perfect for teenagers to relate to, or even allow older viewers to reminisce about their own childhood. While there are doubts at the ability of the main character to truly connect with his teenage persona and to make him truly believable (especially in his many times of fainting), him and the rest of the class get it spot on 95% of the time, making for a wholeheartedly enjoyable show.

However if you are looking for theatre with a little bit more depth to it, that will challenge your imagination and conceptions of the world and daily life, Second Afterlife also provides that in spades. As the main character reminisces about his childhood, he realises how blind he was, due to his intense connection with the electronic world and not the real world around him. The audience is able to see how this negatively affects our relationships with others, and that it is how we interact with others in the real world around us that truly grants us happiness.

Second Afterlife is the perfect play for all audiences, whether you're looking for a light hearted laugh or something to challenge your preconceptions. I highly recommend you give it a try as soon as possible.

Dan and Bea, photograph by Stephen A'Court

Second Afterlife is on until 13 June at Circa Theatre:  http://www.circa.co.nz/site/Shows/Second-Afterlife

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