EDINBURGH | GLASGOW | ABERDEEN | INVERNESS | DUNDEE | PERTH

Citizen

at Traverse Theatre

* * * - -

An important topic explored through music, dance and speech, but at times it lacks clarity

Image of Citizen

Five women stand together on the stage but in this dark story they are all essentially alone, exploring their own character’s story. Where is home? And if you move home how do you fit in?

The exploration begins with a section of dance which is difficult to comprehend but perhaps represents the move itself. They clutch their belongings and travel through the space, again together, but essentially alone. It is at times difficult to watch as the dancers Katie Armstrong, Robyn Byrne, Ailish Maher and Kirsty Pollock, contort their bodies into unusual shapes and formations. It is unclear whether some of the turned in ankles and sickled feet were choreographed or the result of nerves.

But then the first performer speaks and the show takes on a whole new meaning which is clear, truthful and thought-provoking. Each young woman reveals their individual tale of moving to a new place and the challenges which go along with that. Feelings of fear, isolation, trying desperately to fit in, making the best of the situation, depression, and then slowly reaching out are all delved into through clever use of music, choreography and speech.

It is at this stage of the show that the meaning springs to life and the choreographic prowess of Chrissie Ardill becomes evident; the use of cumulative canon at one stage portraying beauty and an important message all at once.

The whole show is performed with a soundtrack provided by talented composer Mariam Rezaei, who records and mixes sound effects as she goes, and also provides her own storyline of a young girl moving to University – for many people their first ‘big move’.

The performance is a bit disjointed -another odd section where the dancers appear to play seedy politicians is not entirely clear to the audience – but it comes good again.

Plan B advertise on their website that they like to produce work ‘utilising the inherent capacity of the arts for transforming peoples’ lives’ and for anyone that has ever moved away to a new place to start a new phase of their life they will recognise and relate to many of the emotions covered in Citizen, even if parts of it lack clarity.