I was walking through Newcastle towards Northern Stage, I heard a busker singing Coming Home Newcastle and it put a massive grin on my face.
It made me think how proud I was to be a Geordie, English and British. I would never want to live this city or this country ever- I am so proud of where I come from and I am proud to be a citizen of this place.
Sadly the character in Status does not echo the same feelings towards his country. Status is a show about someone who doesn’t want his nationality any more. About running away from the national story you’re given. About who is responsible for that story and what might happen to it if you give it up.
Written and Performed by Chris Thrope, he stands in the space with a screen behind him, lights either side of the stage, a microphone, speaker and guitar. Before the show starts, he is addressing the audience and it feels relaxed and I am comfortable.
When the show starts, I am immediately hit with an assertion from Teresa May read out loud my Thorpe- ‘if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere.’ And the tone of the room changes and I understand that we are in for a serious show.
Being a solo performance, Thrope does a brilliant way of telling the story. The pace and rhythm of his voice just flow, he captures the audience and has us engaged from start to finish. He puts energy into his facial expressions and gestures, it is like watching spoken word or poetry. I sit there in complete silence just staring directly at him- completely in a trance.
It was an intense piece of theatre and I wasn’t ready for that form of performance. Although I was sat there watching Status, my mind was creating questions and conversations about my own nationality.
I found myself split, half of me was at the theatre whilst the other half was just in a state of flux. Though there was music played by Chris to add a break to the story that eased the tension.
That is was Status does, it questions you about your own nationality and importance on this land.
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