Have you ever been to the theatre and wanted to get up on stage and change the way things were going? In the next couple of months you have two opportunities to do exactly that.
Cardboard Citizens practices Forum Theatre, where the audience gets to participate in the performance. The theatre group tries to change the lives of homeless and displaced people with performing arts, touring hostels, day centres, theatres and prisons. This new production, Glasshouse, tells the story of a struggling family from the perspective of its three central characters – the same events told from different points of view, with new background information and context each time. When that’s done, we take a short bar-and-loo break then we’re all back to go through one story, and any one of us can call ‘stop’ at any time, take over and try to do things differently.
This could be a terribly worthy exercise but, right from the start, the production tears down the fourth wall which (combined with a few beers) helps get rid of that British reticence and embarrassment. The play’s also very funny, for all it deals with family breakdown and homelessness. There are gags and plenty of (deliberate) mugging when the moment allows and, as an extra treat, writer Kate Tempest’s powerful and passionate spoken word to link scenes together. We’d recommend it just as a standalone play, even without the interactive fun added on.
Glasshouse comes to Battersea Arts Centre 11-15 March, 7.15pm, £12 / £8 and the Roundhouse in Camden 14-18 May (not yet available to book). For more information see the Cardboard Citizens website. Londonist saw this production on a complimentary press ticket.