Young northern suburbs actors confronting bullies in Dancing with the Devil


Makayla Deacon, Lauren Thomas, Justin Gray, Chris Colley, David Mitchell and Sophia Gilet in Dancing With The Devil.
Makayla Deacon, Lauren Thomas, Justin Gray, Chris Colley, David Mitchell and Sophia Gilet in Dancing With The Devil.

THE Actors’ Hub’s latest self-devised production Dancing With The Devil is a gritty, explosive and honest story that explores the gut-wrenching reality young adults face every day.

Directed by Hermione Gehle and starring local actors Lauren Thomas (Woodvale), Chris Colley (Warwick) and Makayla Deacon (Padbury), it explores the harsh realities of high school life and what little needs to happen before a situation escalates out of control.

The Actors’ Hub founder Amanda Crewes said it was a story that needed to be told courageously.

“At any time, anyone could make a difference and yet they don’t,” she said.

“What immobilises us in these events and makes us move with the status quo?

“How many young lives do we have to lose before we start addressing this issue at its core? “We need to uncover the truth about how each role – the bully, victim and bystander – plays a part and look at who the real victim may be.”

Crewes said the performance contained themes that resonated strongly with the young creative team.

“Most of them only left school a few years ago so telling it how it is and not hiding from the harsh realities of what they were exposed to was of the utmost importance to them,” she said.

“Those of us involved in the work who are parents ourselves found it hard to believe the students’ stories about bullying were almost identical.

“No matter the school or socio-economic background, the stories were the same and just as frightening.

“This made us realise it was a story that needed a voice and a voice brave enough to tell it how it really is.”

Given the young age of the cast, Crewes said there was a danger their stories could be “watered down” because there was a fear of offending someone.

“We go to the theatre to learn about ourselves,” she said.

“If we are going to present theatre for young adults, then we need to tell it honestly and, therefore, respectfully.

“If we worry about upsetting someone, we diminish the true size of what they’re going through and, at the same time, underestimate the potential power of the theatre experience.

“The show is meant to confront, with the intention of getting audiences to talk afterwards so solutions may be found.”

Dancing With The Devil plays at 7pm on April 27-29 at the Casey Drama Centre at Perth Modern School.

Tickets at www.trybooking.com/PRNA or on 0422 350 057.