META, London, Touring

By Sarah Woods
Presented by Cardboard Citzens

Canada Water Culture Space
21 Surrey Quays Road
London SE16 7AR


Running time: 90mins, no interval

TICKETS: 020 8692 4446

Review: by Carole Woddis of performance seen Mar 8, 2016:

Full of amazing surprises
What an amazing outfit Cardboard Citizens continues to be. Not content with empowering young homeless people by engaging them with their Act Now programme, their Forum theatre uniquely puts the participation back into `audience participation’. So many companies pay lip service to the idea but CC put their money where their mouth is.

First, a short play is staged around a given subject – last night the intriguing subject of the adolescent brain and how it works (or doesn’t!), acted by the young members of Act Now with extraordinary confidence and later, flexibility.

Guided by Tony McBride as mc/guide/and enabler, the audience are encouraged from the beginning to put in their pennyworth. Last night, it was to offer information with definitions of neuroscience’s meta cognition (self-awareness might be a good stand-in) and how the teenage brain differs from the adult one. Research these days concludes that whilst certain parts of the adolescent brain are developing fast, like a faulty car, the braking mechanism has not quite kept pace with the accelerator!

The exciting part comes, however, crucially, with interventions from audience members
stepping up to play out suggestions as to how individuals might make different choices at certain moments, to produce better outcomes in their lives.

Meta’s `story’ – sharp and contemporary by playwright Sarah Woods – involved two teenagers, a photo posted on social media, bullying and a mother, resulting in subsequent lively discussions around the risks involved in posting photos of a sexual nature on social media but also about curtailing anger and listening.

Last night it was overwhelmingly women prepared to put themselves up for ridicule as they acted out the mistakes they thought the boy-friend, various school-friends and even the authority figures of mother and teacher were making.

Often hilarious, McBride’s gentle prodding nonetheless proves powerfully transformative , offering as it does strategies and tools in a manner at once dramatic and challenging but always constructive – particularly in the idea (which could be taken straight out of the Mindfulness handbook) that despite the teeming thoughts and emotions bombarding a teenager’s brain, thoughts are not facts.

Participation was never such fun or so enlightening – and not for adolescents alone.
Highly recommended.

By Sarah Woods
Presented by Cardboard Citzens

Aaron Russell Andrews
Ellé Louise Payne
Nirobi Salakov
Denholm Spurr
Dominique Wood-Whyte

Conceived and Directed by: Tony McBride
Writer: Sarah Woods
Assistant Director: Fiona Clift
Set & Costume Design: Joanna Layla
Sound Design: Tom Yardley
Digital Design – Neil Hethrington and Daniel Hardiker for Zeroh

Producer: Nick Gibson

Southwark Council working in partnership with The Albany

Performances at Canada Water Culture Space, Southwark, Mar 8 & 9, 2016;
Then Rich Mix (Mar 20); and Hackney Showroom

More details see:

2016-03-10 10:27:33

ReviewsGate Copyright Protection