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– by Lucy Nelson

Image by Adam Thomas

Image by Adam Thomas

When was the last time you heard someone say the name ‘Joseph Gordon Levitt’? For the audience of ‘You Are Here versus Teen Make Outs’, it was Friday night at Lonsdale Street Roasters.

In a lively cocktail of storytelling and teenage nostalgia, four artists offer their musings on the thriving, gyrating melting pot that is the adolescent pop-culture industry.

Although the performers warn us to expect some ‘truly terrible stuff’, it’s clear we’re in safe hands as the sombre tones of Rosie Stevens’ cello plink out a medley of instantly recognisable teen pop hits (think MmmBop). We are now officially transported to a time when the words ‘quadrangle’ and ‘Dolly doctor’ featured heavily in daily conversation.

David Finnigan offers us a vociferously verbose summation of the evils of teen pop culture. Having discovered that it is a thirty-billion-dollar-a-year industry in Australia alone, he appeals to the crowd to invest in his plan: pluck a teen with star quality from their ho-hum existence, teach them how to be hot, how to be hip and how to be a star. A sort of sponsor-a-starlet syndicate. He coins the phrase ‘Long tail Lindsay’ to describe the drawn-out, public, slightly icky decline that will likely follow. Needless to say, many LOLs were had by all.

Jess Bellamy treats us to an imagining of her own tortured friendship with Taylor Swift after a fateful encounter in Nashville. In an attempt to teach Taylor to use her fame as a catalyst for change, Jess dispenses sage advice (if you see her out and about at the festival, ask her why ‘revolutions are like shopping for vibrators’). For this reviewer, the laugh-out-loudest moment of the night goes to Jess, for confessing that she listens to Kan Ye West’s ‘Touch the Sky’, to feel safe when walking alone at night.

Adam Hadley shares his treatment for a screenplay which may be best described as Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls… partially set in space. Compelling narrative and vajazzling references aside, I now have an insatiable desire to see Maggie Smith play a high school bully and say things like ‘Lost something, Ass Mouth?’

Teen Makeouts, despite the absence of a Harlem Shake reference, was a satisfying smorgasbord of teenage reverie. Don’t miss the chance to see these wordsmiths perform again throughout the festival and the year. You will totes LOL. For shiz.

LucyLucy is co-founder of the Canberra chapter of global dance community No Lights No Lycra. She blogs here: http://nlnlcanberra.blogspot.com.au/ and tweets here: @fings_wat_R_tru

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