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Chris Thorpe Brings STATUS Across the UK

Chris Thorpe Brings STATUS Across the UK

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 fluctuates, 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.

Status reunites Chris Thorpe with director Rachel Chavkin, whose Hadestown has just received 14 Tony nominations including one for Rachel for Best Direction of a Musical. Status is the second in what will be a trilogy of plays from the partnership, with the first being the hugely acclaimed Confirmation, also a Fringe First winner. The third show is currently in development.

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.

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 (Con rmation/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. Chris 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 Clevill . 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. This year, they bring three shows to the Fringe: Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin's Status to Assembly Rooms as part of the British Council Showcase, David Edgar's Trying It On to Traverse 1, and All of Me, a new show by Caroline Horton to Summerhall.

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 M ller 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.

Running Time: 1hr 20 mins | Suitable for ages 14+

Assembly George Square, The Blue RoomEdinburgh EH8 9JZ
17 - 24 Aug, 10.25 11.45, 13 ( 12 concs) | 0131 623 3030

23 Apr 12 May Battersea Arts Centre, London
Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN | 020 7223 2223

20 May Luton Library Theatre
Luton Central Library, St George's Square, Luton LU1 2NG | 01582 878100

22 & 23 May Staatstheatre Mainz, Germany
Gutenbergpl. 7, 55116 Mainz, Germany | +49 6131 2851222

24 25 May Tron Theatre, Glasgow
63 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HB | 0141 552 4267

27 May The Salburg, Salisbury Playhouse
Salisbury Playhouse, Malthouse Lane, Salisbury, SP2 7RA | 01722 320 333

29 May Hull Truck Theatre
50 Ferensway, Hull HU2 8LB | 01482 323638

5 June Les Th tres de la Ville de Luxembourg
1 Rond-point Schuman, 2525 Luxembourg | +352 47 96 39 00

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