• Amy Toledano

Christopher Green: No Show

What Is It?

This might be Olivier Award-winning playwright, performer and theatre maker Christopher Green’s new solo show. Or is it? We’ll find out, if he turns up.

What Is It About?

After 25 years of experience on and around the stage, Christopher Green aims to bring the audience what they want. No fourth wall, just an exploration of the contract between audience and performer. Anything might happen.

How Did It Make Me Feel?

The more I try to parse what just happened, the more I love it. Everywhere, people are dancing. A person outside the theatre is telling their friend how they wanted the ground to swallow them up. Still others are dancing in the bar. Another, at the train station, sings Angels by Robbie Williams. The entire situation exudes the most admirable of chaotic energies.

Green takes every risk humanly possible. He is fearless and charismatic, and it is brilliant to watch. How much is interactive banter? How much is staged? We might find out by the end.

About 15 minutes in, and no Green. The audience talks among themselves. Wouldn’t it be funny if he really doesn’t show up. It’s press night, so I’m starting to think this might be a meta move. Perhaps even post-modern. “What are you all going to write about now, huh?” But that’s how the show goes every night, surely? Does the fourth estate think it’s special or something?

And then a random (?) audience member finds (plants?) a folded-up note on the bare stage. To say more would ruin it, but it all results in the eventual appearance of a reluctant performer. How do we turn that reluctance into a former quality?

This is a playful, immersive social experiment that is as much about the audience as it is about the performer. There is ample satire of performers and performance as a whole, all of it presented with refreshing self-awareness. It’s interesting to see how the audience reacts, and unites, at certain points. It makes one wonder how Green adapts and steers the direction of the show on different nights. Who really owns the stage? Green reminds us that it’s all about sharing.

Anything Else?

The truth is: Green is heroic. And we as the audience join him for every stage of this hero’s journey. I do mean this. There is an ordinary world from which he is separated. There is a call to adventure. There is a refusal to the call. There is a road of trials, a mentor, helpers. There are references to Joyce. There is a dark, dark abyss from which we are all reborn. And then: transformation. I’ve just told you everything, but also nothing.

Arden x

No Show is playing at the Yard Theatre until Saturday 14th March 2020.

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