Arts > Exposure onstage: ‘Citizenship’ opens in three weeks

Posted on March 10, 2016

Cast members Nathan Mensah, Bella Graham, Nellie Kirsh and Vinesh Veerasami hard at work in rehearsal

Cast members Nathan Mensah, Bella Graham, Nellie Kirsh and Vinesh Veerasami hard at work in rehearsal

Eleanor Hardy welcomes you to Exposure's theatrical debut
Most people hear ‘media’ and think of computers, cameras, billboards, TV – maybe radio and newspapers, if you’re old-fashioned. We tend to put theatre in another category altogether, if we think of it at all. But theatre was the first form of media, and in many ways it is still the most immediate, most animated, most powerful.

Nothing is quite as striking as a live performance, and nothing sticks in the memory like having a real person in front of you delivering an important message.

Exposure has been learning that over the last few months, while rehearsing for our very first theatrical production – and now, with just three weeks until we raise the curtain, we urge you to join us and find out for yourself just how much force is still in the boards.

Our Associate Artist, Eleanor Hardy, has been working with Stuart Cox at Jacksons Lane in Highgate on Mark Ravenhill’s play Citizenship, as part of the National Theatre’s Connections festival of plays for young casts and young audiences.

The play addresses issues of gender and sexual identity in young people, the choices young people face and the pressure they are under to make them too soon, and the lack of support they receive from an older generation and a school system that will not talk openly about taboo subjects.

“The play was written in 2006, but our young cast of 16-19 year olds have found that the story could still unfold right under our noses today, and the issues raised still hold true,” Eleanor tells us. “We started rehearsals with a series of workshops around the issues, and it’s been amazing to unlock all the nuances of the text with the cast’s unique and informed perspectives, bringing out what’s most important to the world in front of us now.

“That’s what theatre does, in my opinion, better than any other form of media – it doesn’t age as quickly as film or podcasts, it addresses long-term social problems through emotionally identifiable storylines that can be re-delivered time and time again. It can send the same message to new generations, with new casts, updated contexts, new voices with fresh things to say.”

you will get the chance to have your say on a selection of issues relevant to your daily life as a young person, then explore how you can portray your struggles on stage in a way that puts across your point of view

We may be coming to the end of rehearsals – but we’re not done discovering yet. And we want you to help us continue the journey by coming to see the play for FREE and participating in a workshop with our directors and cast beforehand.

On Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st March, we are taking over Finchley Youth Centre in East Finchley (142 High Road, N2 9ED).

Join us at 5pm, when we will hold our hour-long workshop in which you will get the chance to have your say on a selection of issues relevant to your daily life as a young person, then explore how you can portray your struggles on stage in a way that puts across your point of view.

There will then be a half-hour break before the show starts at 6:30pm. Straight after, the actors will come back onstage in character, so you can ask them questions about their journey through the play and their feelings about the issues.

The workshop is recommended for 16-19 year olds, though we will work with young people 14 and up. Anyone can come to see the show on the understanding that it deals with sensitive issues and contains strong language.

Places are limited, so don’t forget to book to avoid disappointment! You can do so by e-mailing eleanor@exposure.org.uk, stating which date you would like to come, and if you will be attending the workshop as well as the performance.

We are then performing at Jacksons Lane on Saturday 2nd April at 7:30pm, and as part of the artsdepot’s festival of Connections plays on Monday 25th April – you’ll have to fork out a fiver to see those performances, but go to their websites to book to see the play in full glory!

Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy this teaser trailer, and do follow our Facebook event page for updates and photos along the way.

Eleanor Hardy
Eleanor is Exposure’s Associate Artist. She is also an actor under the name Nell Hardy, and a singer-songwriter under the name Our Little Nell. She has decided not to take up painting because she can’t think of another name. Find her original music at ourlittlenell.bandcamp.com or her YouTube channel.

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One Response to Exposure onstage: ‘Citizenship’ opens in three weeks

  1. Shakira March 17, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    Wow! Probably can’t be there but I love the idea of an Exposure collab performance with National Theatre!

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