Review: #Lads (Kings Cross Theatre)

kxtVenue: Kings Cross Theatre (Kings Cross NSW), Jan 13 – 14, 2017
Director: Danny Ball
Cast: Callan Colley, Ryan Morgan, Ben Schumann, Ross Walker

Theatre review
Presented early in its developmental stages, #Lads is unpolished and unresolved, but like any work of art fuelled by conviction, it is ready to be interacted with. Longstanding ideas about masculinity and youth are framed within contemporary, and trendy, concepts of entitlement and privilege, for a slightly updated look at the perennial problem of manhood, as seen through social distinctions of money, race, gender and sexuality.

The show sets up contexts that are perhaps too familiar, but the questions it inspires are nonetheless potent. We are always worried about the young, because their mistakes are always spectacularly glaring. The team is thankfully very conscious of its generation’s failures, and spends the entirety of the presentation expressing all that is undesired. There is no hint however, at what a better life would look like. The rebel without a cause, it seems, is here to stay.

A more refreshing perspective that #Lads touches on, is the dysfunction friendship that exists between the four boys. We want to know what keeps them together, and what they require of each other, to satisfy their individual twenty-first century narcissisms. We are interested to know how each of their impairments differ, and the extent to which they are isolated within their fragile facade of unity.

As Australians become increasingly wealthy, the problems and difficulties of bring up our children take on new dimensions. As our lives become more liberated and autonomous, our middle-classes are able to decide to procreate only when we become confident in our ability to provide, but offspring that have never witnessed poverty and other forms of struggle, cannot be expected to understand easily, the nature of hardship, and its accompanying qualities of humility and compassion. The millennials, like everyone else, will come into their own, and as always, time is the only one who holds the key to that revelation.