52 Plays in 52 Weeks: Week 18

Citizenship by Mark Ravenhill

I have been busily reading a fair few plays these last few months but have not posted about them despite having the best of intentions. This one was brought to my attention by the lovely @ellysandbrook. Elly has been really helpful these past few months with suggestions for plays that I could do with my junior students. I had mentioned how much of a fan I was of the National Theatre program (I’ve posted about them here and here) which we are lucky enough here in Australia to be able to go and see at the cinema. She brought to my attention the NT Connections program and the work of Nick Drake as well as the work of English playwright @markravenhill. I hadn’t thought to look for playwrights on Twitter but Elly linked me up with a few.

I bought Mark Ravenhill’s play through my Kindle and had the New Connections 2009 Plays for Young People posted from Amazon UK. Rather promptly I might add.

I really felt Citizenship captured the confusion, the drama and the attitude of being a teenager. In parts you could tell that the dialogue was written for English teenagers with a few other English references but on the whole the ambiguity of the setting could really have had the situations Tom and Amy find themselves in happening anywhere in the world. With any teenager experiencing it or having thoughts about it. The are lots of possibilities for a director and actors in terms of interpretation also.

The New Connections plays were very English. I got a real sense of what it must be like for a teenager living in England and I could see the differences to that of teenagers here in Australia and that, for many teens, these differences would make it difficult for them to relate to the characters. In saying that too I could just be showing my age. From the collection, some could most certainly be adapted but all in all I felt most would be done justice with their intended audience in mind: young, British teens.

Photo Credit: pedrosimoes7 via Compfight cc

2 Comments

  1. Would you believe that I was one of the first people to direct this play 18ish years ago. My school was part of the National Theatre Connections that year and we were one of about 8 schools in the UK given this play to work on. We spent 3 days in workshop as teachers with the writer Mark Ravenhill and his right hand man Max Stafford Clark and then took the plays back to our students and worked on the piece for performance.
    Great experience. These plays are excellent and the collection brilliant. The National Theatre celebrated 50 years last year and newest connections offers some amazing new pieces including a great piece called We lost Elija.
    The NTShell connections is a great programme for kids and an excellent PD for teachers.

    • Oh my goodness what an amazing story Hayley! Thank you so much for sharing it. I love the National Theatre but missed seeing their 50th Anniversary show. I believe it is on DVD so I’m hoping to buy it. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your experience in the comments. That is so awesome!

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