Glasgow theatre company Glas(s) Performance looks at the political views of today's teenagers
Following swiftly on from a winter of discontent that was nowhere more pronounced than among our nation’s young people, comes a new show from Glasgow company Glas(s) Performance looking at the perspectives of today’s 17- and 18-year-olds on life, the universe and everything.
Glas(s) Performance are RSAMD alumnae Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore, who also run the equally highly acclaimed experimental youth theatre group Junction 25 at the Tramway. Gore explains that this, their first commission from the Tramway as Glas(s), has much in common with critically lauded previous shows, in that it involves the two working with ‘experts in the field’ to explore ‘things that are happening, that feel relevant and important to investigate further, and people’s voices who don’t necessarily get heard within the theatre context’.
In past productions that has meant working with a couple in their 70s to explore the notion of a lifelong commitment, or a family of 11 women to explore matrilineal inheritances. This time, partly inspired by a perceived increase in politicisation and stress among the young people they meet through six years of Junction 25, it meant talking to three 17-year-olds and one 18-year-old about their opinions, and working with them to form those opinions into a devised piece of what they term ‘autobiographical performance work’.
The notion of maturity, and the sudden, arbitrary leap into adulthood, is key to the project: ‘One piece of material we have in the show is a list of all the things that the 18-year-old can do that the 17-year-olds can’t do,’ comments Gore, ‘and why should he be able to do them when the others can’t?’ Where previous work has drawn plaudits for being ‘life-affirming’ and ‘warm’ in its gentle insights into real people’s lives, it’s safe to assume here that current political tensions will surface as the young people consider, through a montage of movement, found materials, speeches and slices of popular culture, what kind a world they are about to inherit.
Tramway, Glasgow, Wed 15–Sat 18 Jun.