The Dukes Lancaster
Your Country Called . . . And It Wants You Back
Thursday 23 April 2015 - Saturday 25 April 2015
review by Alan Chard
Your Country Called . . . is a Make Programme project focusing on cultural outreach with young people as part of The Dukes three-year Cultural Partnership with Lancaster University. The Director talked about some of the difficulties and challenges and objectives that the creative team considered when putting this project together. 'How do you make a play about young people and politics?' Engaging young people in the decision-making process is really difficult, especially when even the seasoned-electorate is suffering election campaign fatigue near the end of a bruising, bad-tempered and fractious campaign that seems to have been going on forever.
In a series of colourful snapshots this play captured the imagination, presenting real-life experiences of international students in a thought-provoking manner. Not always impartial or balanced, but this was theatre, not news reporting. It certainly reflected the major issues of this general election campaign, immigration, the untrustworthy, cynical nature of politicians and difficulties faced by first-time voters amongst others. In the UK we tend only to hear and experience 'news' through our own news media. Here we were faced by external perspectives that shed light on situations from different points of view.
The one thing that I came away with was a clear message to young people - there are so many first-time voters that your crosses can and should make a real difference to the outcome of this election. Think about what you want for your country, then VOTE!
The message was communicated clearly in an exciting way.
Fast moving, snappy, noisy and right up-to-the minute. I didn't know what to expect from this production, but came away reassured that there are some talented young people taking part in exciting theatre projects.
An 'all-action' performance, vibrant, pulsating - snapshots of real-life experiences, well worth seeing.
Alan Chard, April 2015