One thing is certain: no one should envy the students of today.
In Launceston College's Be More Chill - their latest annual production showing now until Saturday evening at the Princess Theatre - the modern-highschool going experience is performed in peppily dark, musical form.
Contemporary teenagers contend with intrusive thoughts amidst a world of chimeric technological advancement - namely, artificial intelligence - and navigate the classically young-adult fiction motif of finding one's true self amid a world of superficial conformity.
Jeremy Heere - the lead and self-professed geek played by Bailey Landeg - is looking to "More than Survive" high-school, as he tells us in his opening number; he wants to be popular.
The jocks and the girls ignore and torment him in equal measure and his only solace are video games and his closest friend, Michael Mell (Isaac Leslie) and the unrequited love of Christine Cannigula (Meg Chapman).
More than worth remarking is the quality of Chapman's astounding voice, which is almost operatic in its capacity to hold a note.
How can Jeremy possibly have a chance at being cared for, even loved? Salvation comes in the form of a supplement: the Squip, an oblong, grey pill from Japan which contains a quantum computer which interfaces with the human mind.
Manifesting in the form of Keanu Reeves - performed with an equilibrium of computational menace and absurd humour by Hayden Gardner - Jeremy goes through changes; and not the regular teenage kind.
But, the musical's fundamental query is whether Jeremy will get the girl and if it's worth it in the end. Does becoming someone else by listening to the voice in your head which tells you you're awful end happily?
Would it be better if someone told you what to do at all times? Is free will all it's chalked up to be? It's ironic to think teenagers just want instructions; all experience points otherwise.
Based on a 2004 novel of the same name by Ned Vizzini and the subsequent stage adaptation - which has now played on Broadway and London's West End - Be More Chill is a representative piece.
It understands its position as a Highschool Musical-esque production but manages to weave affecting themes throughout.
Launceston College's staging of Be More Chill is scintillating viewing. Visually spectacular, it needs reminding that this is a high school production. There are no wooden-framed courtyards of a poorly rendered Romeo and Juliet.
No player stumbles over a soliloquy here. The acting, the singing, the lighting, the music and the choreography are all professional standard.
Go and see it.
Launceston College's production of Be More Chill will premiere at the Princess Theatre on Wednesday, August 8, and runs until Saturday, August 12.
Tickets are still available at the Theatre North website.
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