Chrysalis Festival: There is a Light: Brightlight & How to Save the World...ish
- Clare McVay
- 15 December 2017
Chrysalis returns to the Traverse with a variety of youth theatre performances.
Contrary to mainstream perceptions of this generation, audiences saw young minds obviously engaged in worldwide issues, and wrestling with problems much bigger than their next twitter post.
Challenging perceptions of youth theatre, Contact Young Company from Manchester gave a very adult performance, looking at what it's like to live with a teenage cancer diagnosis. There is a Light: Brightlight (★★★★☆) takes its name from the first real study done on cancer care for young people in England. Heartfelt and personal, the show explores a sensitive subject with care, balancing humour with real-life tragedy. Tears turn to laughter and back again during this insightful and powerful performance. The frequent laughter seems defiant in the face of so much darkness, mirroring a remark made near the start of the play about a black hole in space: it's only in the midst of such destruction and darkness that the brightest lights and energy are found.
A similar message of determination can be found in Beacon Young Company's fictional story of one girl struggling to save her planet (one not dissimilar to our own). How To Save the World...ish (★★★☆☆) sees a population ignoring their environmental responsibility, giving it all instead to one young girl. It's a creative performance, enacted gently like a bedtime story at first, with a hero setting out on a quest. But as the pace increases, a warning becomes clear: it isn't enough to rely on someone else (i.e. the younger generation) to save the world, and we must all take responsibility before it's too late. A very convincing, quiet threat.