Teenage kicks - Once and For All We’re Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen

This article is from 2008.

Teenage kicks

Belgium’s Ontroerend Goed climbs down from the roof to show the positive side to adolescence, finds Mark Fisher.

Alexander Devriendt has been hanging out with the kids. The Belgian director has been working with 13 teenagers on a show for grown-ups about the experience of adolescence. ‘At some point in your life you climb onto a roof,’ says the 31-year-old. ‘I don’t do that any more, but the teenagers took me along. I have to say it was a beautiful view and I enjoyed it intensely.’

Adults are quick to dismiss their teenage years as a time of raging hormones, bad fashion choices and emotional confusion. But what about the glorious intensity of it all? ‘Movies about teenagers are all about the negative side of that energy,’ says Devriendt back with Ontroerend Goed after last year’s brilliant experiential piece The Smile off Your Face. ‘I wanted to show the positive side and the possibilities.’

He also want to remind the adult audience that things don’t change that much. ‘They always say the age to have sex is getting younger, but I had my first sexual experience when I was 13 and it’s the same with these guys. Some parents don’t want to know that their children know this already.’

Once and For All We’re Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen, Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, 13–24 Aug (not 18), times vary, £14–£16 (£10–£11). Preview 12 Aug, £10 (£5).

Once and For All We're Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen

  • 2 stars

A second chance for Scottish audiences to catch this joyous, rousing and exhilarating performance piece about the terrors and sheer exuberance of adolescence, performed by a large cast of Belgian teenagers. The original production was one of the toasts of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2008. 'Part of Behaviour'.

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