Two of our Transitions programme mentors Iain and Steve were in the audience for the brilliant Cardboard Citizens performance we brought to St. Helens library last week. Here’s what they thought of it…
Fuck! Slap! Get out of my house!
Wow yeah, that’s the gist of ‘Glasshouse’ the production by Cardboard Citizens and written by new kid on the block Kate Tempest.
With anticipation we drove from Liverpool to St. Helens Central Library. The library wasn’t the easiest place to find but with help of a local taxi driver who led the way we got there in time. There was a warm welcome waiting for us on arrival from Crisis, Collective Encounters and St. Helens Council. The venue was alternative (a library) but there was plenty of room and it made for an effective performance space due to the close proximity of the actors.
Note – only one toilet, only one key = crossed legs.
And so onto the Glasshouse itself. The Joker set the scene – briefly outlining the plot and explaining the theory of ‘forum theatre’ (google it), which requires audience participation in offering alternative outcomes.
The play itself was superbly acted by four members of Cardboard Citizens who each played multiple roles. The story revolved around an everyday family situation involving Jess, her mother Rhea and step father Paul. The play was acted out from the three family members perspectives, highlighting the different points of view of the same scenario giving the audience empathy with each character.
It was a hard-hitting performance (ask character Paul!), gritty and true to life.
The performance managed this with gusto, often moving the set around as they were in character. The characters were believable and hit a nerve, sometimes humorous with a serious undertone. As the play came to its conclusion the Joker stepped in offering the audience the opportunity to redirect scenes from the play. The audience could leave their seats and take over one of the characters, changing dialogue and the outcome of the piece.
Over all an excellent performance addressing family dynamics and possible homelessness.
A good time had by all.
Look out for the rave scene and the big faced bag lady.