Summer Reading: Trolling explored at Fringe

YOUNG teens can enjoy an entertaining fable about the internet at the Blue Room Theatre this summer.

Troll is a lo-fi, Wi-Fi show about the digital age and things that go bump in the night.

Changing the world

Written and performed by Kiwi Ralph McCubbin Howell, it’s set in 1998 when the internet was on the cusp of changing the world.

Puppets, music and storytelling are used to explore young people’s interaction with the net.

“It’s a mythical landscape, where myth and the digital world meet,” Howell says.

“We wanted to bring the innovative design and intricate narrative into the contemporary world with staging that transforms the devices we use everyday – so smart phones become light sources and keyboards turn into skyscrapers.”

Otto is 12 but online he’s 13 and is pretty sure no one knows he’s not really a teenager.

He lives in an old wooden two-storey house with his parents, sister, a chain-smoking Icelandic granny, and an ancient malevolent troll who lives in the wall cavity.

The mythical Icelandic creature, created out of cables and wire, is a metaphor for online trolling, and the way the digital world dominates young people’s lives, Howell says.

“And its Otto’s way of dealing with depression and anxiety.”

Troll, by New Zealand theatre company Trick of the Light, is on January 29-February 9 as part of Blue Room’s Summer Nights Fringe World program.

Tickets at


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