The Price of Fame
In a world where people are becoming desensitised to imagery on social media, Carlie Wacker discovers a production company provoking people back to reality in a live show that will make you stop and feel.
Shock Therapy Productions are aptly named. The creation of Hayden Jones and Sam Foster, the company aims to deliver thought-provoking and educational entertainment by doing as much as possible with as little as possible.
The University mates and actors began producing their own shows in 2014 with the latest touring production originally born in 2016.
While touring schools with a show named The Apology, the duo read a story about a man on a bus that was beaten and filmed by 13 year old girls. The story (and footage) went viral on social media and in researching the viral video phenomenon they uncovered many more disturbing stories.
Rather than sit back and be a part of the growing problem they explored the broader question of social responsibility and started examining the power we have with a camera in our hands.
The result is a production called Viral, where they bring real-life issues to the forefront with a mash-up of contemporary theatre styles.
Inspired by a number of true events and broader societal changes facing the wider community. The show was developed through a series of community consultation workshops aimed at gathering true accounts of acts of discrimination against a variety of marginalised groups.
“The show explores desensitisation, responsibility and the role of social media in our modern world,” said directors and performers Hayden and Sam.
“Watching re-enactments of real-life incidents in a live context is important because on a screen we are detached and desensitised – that’s why it’s harder to watch live,” says Sam.
In this production we follow the story of Art and Zane, two lads looking for fame and fortune on the internet. It uses physical and political theatre, audio visuals and an evocative musical score to create a dynamic theatrical experience while exposing the truth behind the way we record, communicate, and think about events of racism, abuse and violence in our community.
It investigates the line between disassociation and raising awareness about such events.
“We want the audience to enjoy the show but we believe theatre should be provocative – it should make you think and feel,” said Sam.
“We hope the show entertains, creates empathy and encourages you to pause and think about what our actions are and how they are impacting real people.”
This show has been such a success that it continues to tour all over the world with the most recent production translated for a school audience in Norway. When first released in 2016, it was nominated for four Matilda Awards for Best New Australian Work, Best Actor – Sam Foster; Best AV Design; and was awarded for Best Independent Production.
With technology changing quickly and trends shifting, the production has had to adapt since then.
“Adapting references to update to current day terminology means we have had to rewrite some content and tweak it a little; but the narrative remains the same,” Sam said.
So, what is the price of internet fame?
Find out when this award-winning theatre show comes to Venue 114 on Friday 26 March 2021 at 10.15am and 1pm.
Other Upcoming Gigs at Venue 114
Sit down lunch for International Women’s Day – Friday 5 March with Layne Beachley and MC Nikki Fodgen-Moore
Owl & Pussycat
Easter School Holidays Tuesday 13 April, 10am & 1pm
Tuesday 6 July, 10.15am & 12.30pm
For bookings and further information: