Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Bang Bang You’re Dead

Bang Bang You’re Dead

“I wanted to kill you but I didn’t want you dead. How else could I tell you what’s on my mind without you interrupting?” The angst-ridden cries of a troubled teenager ripple through this production as Josh grapples with the realization that there is no reset button in life.

Mad World Productions, in association with Kapiti College and the Fringe Festival, present ‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’, written by American playwright William Mastrosimone in the wake of a spate of high school shootings in the USA, and directed by Siobhan Malley and Cody Packer.

‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’ is a resource for dealing with a seemingly broken world that’s violent, unhealthy, unfair, and beyond the power of anyone to fix, except today’s generation. Mad World Productions takes you on a mesmorising journey into the mind of a troubled teenager. The performances are breath-takingly believable as these teenage actors truly understand the angst, frustration and feeling of isolation that their characters suffer from.

The playwright, William Mastrosimone, offers this play “as a free gift for students to perform in schools, garages, street corners, parks, house of worship – anyplace there can be communication and discovery about how we’ve made the world’s violence our own. And how we can change it.” But don’t be fooled. This is no simple school production; rather it is a way to start a dialogue with our frustrated and exceedingly isolated youth.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’ deals with the darkness of the soul that some must battle. It is too late for Josh, played by 17 year-old Andrew Gosnell, he has made his decision and must now live with the consequences but his experience may serve as a warning to others who struggle with their own personal demons.

‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’ was first performed by this cast in October 2008. Audience response to what was meant to be a one-off performance was so intense that a second performance was quickly scheduled. Again the seats were filled quickly and people had to be turned away at the door.

The performances from these talented young actors were heart-breaking and many in the audience were wiping away tears as the house lights came up. We were approached by many people who saw the shows and encouraged to get it out in the public arena. The decision was made to take the production to the Fringe Festival, to try and reach a wider audience, to open others’ eyes to the possible violence that our misunderstood youth can cause, both to themselves and to others. It is an issue that is difficult to deal with but one we mustn’t be afraid to try and understand.

‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’ is directed by Drama teacher Siobhan Malley and Year 13 student Cody Packer, and stars Andrew Gosnell as Josh; a character based on the tragic story of Kip Kinkel, who killed his parents, and then took a gun to school and killed two students and wounded 22 more in Springfield, Oregon. Andrew is supported by Renee Duffell, Nick Stewart, Teri Gibbs, Robyn Mathie, Aaron McPhail, Hen Priestley, Shevelle May, Lara Gieseke, Laura Ringrose and Cody Packer – all Year 13 students at Kapiti College.

What we must remember is that while there is life there is hope. We can learn from the mistakes of others and look to this generation to light the way for those who follow.

“I need to know Josh, why?”

‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’ is on at Kapiti College, February 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 19th and 21st as part of the 2009 Fringe Festival. Entry is free, seating is limited. Doors open at 7pm, with the show starting by 7.30pm. Seats can be booked through Siobhan Malley at or on 0273899971. Any queries are welcome.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.