What you missed at Teenage Wasteland (if you weren’t there)

Tuesday February 7th 2012


After literally a lot of planning, Teenage Wasteland finally rolled around on Saturday, with the great and the good of East London rolling up at the Hackney Picturehouse for a day of carefully selected nostalgic programming. The whole thing kicked off around 12, with a perfectly matched (despite what anyone else says) double bill of 10 Things I Hate About You and Not Another Teen Movie.

There was some pass the parcel fun to be had before the films began, with audience members walking away with everything from Lesbian Vampire Killers blu-rays to packets of Iced Gems to Lesbian Vampire Killers blu-rays. (Incidentally, whoever left their Lesbian Vampire Killers blu-ray in the ladies’ toilets — it’s at lost and found if you want it back).

The interval saw a world-first cinema screening of The Best of SM:TV Live – So far! featuring ‘exclusive sketches with Ant, Dec and Cat filmed specially for this video, as well as a fantastic selection of “bloopers” — you can see where the funniest things have gone wrong live on TV!!!’ I’d completely forgotten about Captain Justice. “When he leaves, he always leaves with a poof.”

Next up was best-horror-sequel-ever Scream 2 introduced by the one and only Joe Dunthorne. Joe performed a spectacular live re-dub of A Nightmare on Elm Street (not all of it, obviously) before the film, which I won’t ruin by trying to relate here. Trust me though, it was special.

Meanwhile, Emmy the Great was downstairs schooling a screen full of Mallrats fans on the art of the teen movie soundtrack. She also read from a Beverly Hills 90210 novelisation. Natch.

Grace Dent looked every ounce the professional with her Very Special Clipboard as she campaigned on behalf of Tracy Flick, the ruthless narcissist at the centre of Alexander Payne’s high school classic Election.

Upstairs in the Hackney Attic, a sold out crowd arrived for our Teen Confessions comedy night. A host of writers, comedians, poets and miscellaneous weirdos all exposed the deepest, darkest secrets of their adolescences, with confessions ranging from the embarrassing (Anthony Ing’s teenage fan letters) to the downright impressive (Joe Dunthorne’s homemade Commodore games).

After weeks of working out how to set the fucking thing up, we even got one of Joe’s magnificent video game creations — “Joyride II, featuring four gore-filled levels!” — up on the big screen, with fellow performer Ross Sutherland picking up the gauntlet of playing a game with no discernible enemies or obstacles.

Further incredible performances by Tom Rosenthal, Joel Dommett, David Elms, Charlie Lyons, Kat Brown, Rose Heiney, Catherine Bray and Liam Williams ensured the show went on far past its scheduled end time. How unprofessional.

Back in the Picturehouse, a sold out crowd waited patiently for our much feted Surprise Film. After the distribution of some age-appropriate Bacardi Breezers, the lights were dimmed and the movie was revealed to be the UK premiere of … Mystery Team, the hilarious Sundance hit from sketch group Derrick Comedy. Here’s a trailer:

Finally, 100 overgrown teenagers retired to our Frat Party in the Hackney Attic and played beer pong well into the early hours, soundtracked by some certified monsters from DJs Peter Robinson (Popjustice), Sam Wolfson and Dora Stewart. It was snowing outside, which was nice.

Massive thanks to all the performers, as well as Sam Clements, Sam Cuthbert and everybody else at Picturehouses who made it so rad. And to James Kent for photographing the event. You are all bona fide Baldwins and Betties.