Status - on tour

London theatre news: Tuesday 12 February 2019

Off-West End - Shows - Tours

Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin's Fringe First-winning hit about the internal and political conflicts that arise when people reject their national identity, is to head-out on tour from March.
Status at Battersea Arts Centre

Image: Battersea Arts Centre

When Chris Thorpe performed his one-man show Status at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe, he claimed, provocatively, it wasn't about Brexit.

Now, as the withdrawal date draws ever nearer, the Fringe First-winning, globe-spanning show about how we acquire our national identity, and what happens when we try to escape it, confronts head on the guilt, alienation and identity crisis experienced in response to the biggest political upheaval of the century.

The show will be touring from 20 March, and lands in the London area at Battersea Arts Centre for a run from 23 April to 11 May 2019.

Status reunites Chris Thorpe with director Rachel Chavkin, his collaborator on the hugely acclaimed Confirmation, which won a Fringe First at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe before touring nationally and internationally.

The second in what will eventually be a trilogy of plays examining the intersection between our individual humanity and our politics, Status takes as its starting point the UK Prime Minister's assertion that 'if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere', and attempts to show that feeling like a citizen of the world and having a specific national identity, are not mutually exclusive.

Departing in style and subject matter from Confirmation, Chris and Rachel draw on globe-spanning conversations, from people who have found themselves stateless, to those for whom national identity is a defining characteristic, incorporating songs as well as stories into the performance.

Performed once more by Chris himself, Status is about the impulse to escape national identity, and whether that impulse - for those privileged enough to consider it - is a useful one, or a rejection of responsibility open only to the few.

Here's the trailer ...

Speaking about Status, Chris Thorpe said ...

"I made Status because I was noticing a lot of conversations about British Values.

Like it or not, we're having to think about what defines us as a nation.

I didn't want to have that conversation - but then I have the luxury of choosing not to have it.

So I made a show and wrote some songs, as a way to start that conversation.

And this is it."

Rachel Chavkin said ...

"In America there's been a huge surge in our ability to REALLY argue about the historical hypocrisy of 'American values.'

Something has been ripped off with Trump's election, and it's a nightmare but also made a whole bunch of stuff visible - in particular to white people who have been privileged enough to be able not to previously notice.

So, it feels good to be asking how the left should relate to nationalism, because it's feeling like those who claim it are the ones who get to dictate the soul of a country."

Status has been developed with an intercultural creative team from Germany and the UK, rehearsed in both countries and has resulted in both a UK version and a German language adaptation.

Chris Thorpe is Associate Artist at the Royal Exchange, Manchester - work for them includes There Has Possibly Been An Incident and the upcoming The Mysteries.

Other theatre work includes Victory Condition and The Milk of Human Kindness for the Royal Court and Beowulf for the Unicorn.

He also has ongoing collaborations with Rachel Chavkin produced by China Plate (Confirmation/Status), Lucy Ellinson (TORYCORE), Portugal's mala voadora (Overdrama/House-Garden/Dead End/Your Best Guess) and Hannah Jane Walker (The Oh Fuck Moment/I Wish I Was Lonely).

Chris was a founder member of Unlimited Theatre and is an Associate of Live Art/ Theatre company Third Angel, and has recently collaborated with Rachel Bagshaw, writing the Fringe First Awarded The Shape of the Pain in 2017, which will tour again from 19th March to 5th April 2019.

Chris's work tours internationally and is also regularly produced for stage and radio throughout Europe and in the US, including the upcoming premiere of Victory Condition at Residenzteater Munich, and the Italian productions of There Has Possibly Been an Incident and Confirmation were awarded the Premio Franco Enriquez 2018.

Chris was the Arvon mentor for playwrighting, 2016/17 and works with the National Student Drama Festival.

Rachel Chavkin is a Tony-nominated, three-time Obie Award winning director, writer, and dramaturg, as well as the artistic director of Brooklyn-based experimental theatre company the TEAM.

Most recently she directed Arthur Miller's The American Clock at The Old Vic, and Hadestown at the National Theatre.

In 2017 she was nominated for a Tony award for her Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.

Her repertoire spans Europe, Australia, and Asia, and she is the recipient of a Drama Desk Award, Elliot Norton & IRNE Awards, multiple Lucille Lortel nominations, two Doris Duke Impact Award nominations, and the 2017 Smithsonian Award for Ingenuity along with Dave Malloy.

As an intercultural creative team, she and Thorpe enhance each other's perspectives on their own countries' politics and cultural practices, particularly as the struggle for definition of what belonging and nationhood look like plays itself out in the UK and USA.

Established in 2006, China Plate is one of the UK's most prolific and respected independent producers of contemporary theatre, producing work that engages 25,000 audience members annually.

The company's central mission is to 'challenge the way performance is made, who it's made by and who gets to experience it.'

China Plate has worked with some of the UK's most talented artists, including Caroline Horton, Inspector Sands, David Edgar, Chris Thorpe, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel Bagshaw, Urielle Klein-Mekongo, Dan Jones, Ben Wright, Contender Charlie, Ella Grace, Katie Lyons, and Joan Clevillé.

China Plate are Associate Producers at Warwick Arts Centre, Artistic Associates at the New Wolsey Theatre where they are Directors of PULSE Festival, Programmers of New Directions (the NRTF showcase) and partners with The Place, The NRTF and Take Art on the Rural Touring Dance Initiative.

The Staatstheater Mainz is located in the centre of Mainz, Germany.

Opera, drama, dance, concerts as well as the youth theatre, offering a varied programme for all age groups. Markus Müller has been the director of the theatre Since 2014/15.

The theatre is known for staging powerful productions by well-known directors and choreographers as well as by up-and-coming young artists.

Strong ensembles across art forms attract visitors to the theater, whose numbers are steadily increasing.

The theatre's work is characterised by an emphasis on the contemporary relevance of the classics as well as new works, a commitment to the ensemble and repertory theatre as well as engagement with the city and the region.

The theatre department has coproduced work with international groups from Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Tour dates

20 Mar                          South Street Arts Centre, Reading

21 & 22 Mar                  Burton Taylor Studio, Oxford

23 Mar                          Studio, Manchester Royal Exchange

26 Mar                          Enable Us Fesitval, Sheffield

27 Mar                          Colchester Arts Centre

28 Mar                          Lincoln Performing Arts Centre

29 Mar                          Harlow Playhouse

30 Mar                          Unity Theatre, Liverpool

1 Apr                            Gulbenkian, Kent

3 Apr                            Norwich Arts Centre

6 Apr                            Jersey Arts Centre

9 Apr                            Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Brighton

10 Apr                          New Theatre Royal, Plymouth

11 Apr                          The Lighthouse, Poole

12 Apr                          The Civic, Barnsley

23 Apr - 11 May            Battersea Arts Centre, London

20 May                         Lution Library Theatre

22 & 23 May                  Staatstheatre Mainz, Germany

24 - 25 May                  Tron Theatre, Glasgow

27 May                         The Salburg, Salisbury Playhouse

29 May                         Hull Truck Theatre

5 June                          Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg


ActDrop listing for Staus at Battersea Arts Centre

China Plate

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