Kids Killing Kids was initially made in 2013 and then remodelled in 2014 with the Next Wave Festival. It is a documentary work about four Australian playwrights who travelled to Manila to collaborate with site-specific experimental theatre company The Sipat Lawin Ensemble. Together, they produced a stage adaptation of the Japanese pulp thriller Battle Royale.
The resulting show exploded through social and international media, breaking attendance records in the Philippines and being attended by the likes of Reuters, CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera. Described as both a pop-culture smash and a dangerous work of glossy, hedonistic pulp-violence, Battalia Royale provoked the question; has the craze of kids killing kids gone too far?
Part narrative, part documentary theatre, Kids Killing Kids presents both companies perspectives on their explosive coproduction. Through a combination of live performance, interview footage, personal stories and open discussion, this work examines the qualities of cross-cultural collaboration, contemporary Filipino culture and the nature of onstage violence.
"The kind of theatre which leaves you slightly breathless, the kind of theatre that gives you an adrenaline rush. It’s viscerally, as well as intellectually, exciting."
Jodi McAlister, Australian Stage
"One of the most talked about shows this festival. And this is the success of Kids Killing Kids. So many shows are forgotten by the time the first post-show drink is orders; this one is resulting in arguments and discussions and anger and elation. Any work that does this is damn good theatre."
Anne-Marie Peard - Aussie Theatre
"They examine the purpose of theatre and their responsibility to the audience and the cast members with candour and honesty. Too Many Weapons’ script is excellent, Bridget Balodis’ direction is sharp and Melanie Koomen’s design is exactly what is required."
Mark Pigott - Sydney Arts Guide
"Kids Killing Kids comes together seamlessly. In just over an hour it addresses our fascination with violence, the problems with cross-cultural collaboration, an entire nation’s political history, and the role of theatre itself. Who would have thought such a beautifully surreal and thought-provoking story would involve little more than some milk crates, a few plastic blood packs, and an OHP?"