Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Status is a beautifully designed show that charts one man's frustrations with the country he can't seem to get out of his skin.
Chris Thorpe's brought his show back to the fringe, supported by Andrzej Goulding's wonderful video design, in which he considers identity, borders and the narrative we've been given about Brexit. It is a meticulously crafted piece, written with and directed by Rachel Chavkin, that raises a lot of interesting questions about nationhood.
Thorpe is on stage as the audience enters, chatting to you as you take your seats. His guitar and amp are onstage next to him and I can't wait to hear them play. Behind him, projected on the backdrop are Theresa May's infamous words "if you believe you're a citizen of the world, then you're a citizen of nowhere", he hopes it isn't true. As the lights go down Thorpe starts to vocalise his anger and disappointment with a country he believes to have shot itself in the foot. It's not a Brexit show though, he reassures us of this on a number of occasions. What follows is a retelling of a journey a man named Chris (who may or may not have been this Chris) undertook having felt entirely let down by his country and wanting no part of it's future endeavours. He compared it to breaking up with a partner who has finally done that one thing that they can never undo. But again, it's not about Brexit.
He's right, it's about so much more than just Brexit, the bickering of remainers and brexiteers, about misleading numbers on buses. It's about identity, national and individual. As Chris travels out of the UK he explores a number of differing ideas. He recognises his immense privileges as a white British man with not one, but two passports (it is explained why), which saves him a punch from the police in Eastern Europe. There are lovely turns into the surreal, with beautiful projections unfurling behind him as he talks to coyotes, who add some nuance to his previously headstrong reactions, and holograms by airport escalators. Thorpe is a natural storyteller, engaging and clear, whilst his informal introduction immediately endears him to you. By the end of his journey he has posed a lot of questions that are left to swirl, tantalisingly, through my brain, I just wish the venue let him turn up his guitar.
Status is on at Assembly George Square - The Blue Room at 10:25, until the 24th August. Tickets available here - https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/status