Citizen, Traverse Theatre, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
plan B
Chrissie Ardill (Choreographer) Mariam Rezaei (Composer) Karen Tennent (Designer) Simon Wilkinson (Lighting Designer) Ritchie Young (Sound Design) G McDermott (Lighting Technician) Niall Black (Production Manager) Mike Griffiths (Producer)
Katie Armstrong, Robyn Byrne, Ailish Maher, Kirsty Pollock, Mariam Rezaei
Running time

Whether you know what it is to move from what you call home into the big, strange, wide world, or whether you have lived in one place all your life, plan B’s acute rumination on what it means to start a new life in a new place is deeply thought-provoking.

For two nights, Citizen will call Traverse 1 its home as the performance contemplates what that means, and how we deal with the process of becoming one with the place we live.

All over the world people migrate, emigrate and choose to settle in a place not their native home – but how long is it until the notion of home shifts and we accept that we are not merely citizens of our new chosen location? How long does it take for us to find a home in a place that isn’t where it used to be?

The majority of this uncannily perceptive performance is dance and physical theatre, beautifully choreographed by Chrissie Ardill, returning to plan B as guest choreographer after having performed with the company.

The dance is interspersed with spoken word; letters home to Mum, feelingly spoken and shared between the performers, each tackling a different aspect of navigating their new homes. The words may be euphemistic, but the movement is brutally honest and shows the uncomfortable, unglamorous difficulties of building a life in a new place.

It is refreshing to see and hear an unashamed contemplation of something that, although on the surface may be exciting and glamorous, in reality is also trying and frightening. The progression of the piece poses deep questions and exposes raw emotions, often questioning whether ‘foreigners’ will be accepted despite their best efforts to fit in. It is poignant in these times of endangered liberty.

The piece is underscored by live music from Mariam Rezaei which adds to the hauntingly beautiful, lonely quality it has. The ensemble work is second to none and the movement is exquisite. This is a skilfully crafted work that explores intention, aspiration, identity and belonging, and discovers the gaps in between.

Friday 17th, Saturday 18th March, 7.30pm.