“Do you have all the answers?” “No, but we’re only five.” The performance of the Hurting Game by Brainstorm Productions for our Year 7s at the end of Term One, started by taking the actors back from Year 11 to Prep and then a journey back through the years, with a reflection of the different challenges they had faced in Year 7 and beyond.

Part of what makes these productions unique and so relevant is the vast range of issues that they cover and explore in a dynamic, innovative and thoughtful performance. Technology is weaved through the issues that the characters faced, just as in real life. This year’s performance, The Hurting Game explored notions of insults, Queen Bees, mean girl comments, excluding others, editing photos and posting fake information, friendship issues, gaming, body image, finding your group and how to be me.

The performance explored the side of social media that presents a perfect world to others and how even when we know it is not real, it can still have an impact on how we feel. It explored parties and underage drinking, spending too much time on your phone, assault, viral videos, burnouts and being in a car when someone has been drinking, image based abuse, inappropriate images and sexting - all such relevant topics and issues that we all need to be having conversations about.

Throughout, the performance showed the value of constant friendships, the support they give us and what it is to be a true friend. The Hurting Game ended with the powerful words, “You are great", “You are amazing.”

The performance, as always, included a valuable debrief at the end including what to do in different situations. “We all need good friends to keep the thoughts and self-talk positive.” We all need to be able to recognise relationships that might be toxic and remove these from our lives.

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