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'N1' - The Review

Friday, 15 March 2019

Fourth Former Felix went to see 'N1' this week and has told us about what he took from the performance.

This week, teachers, students and parents alike took some time off from the chaos and busyness of their own lives to see a truly astonishing reenactment of the lives of the homeless scattered across London without a roof over their heads. Approximately 1 in every 52 people is homeless, and of course, all of us can admit to (at least once, anyway) seeing a person homeless on the street, settling down on a stairwell or begging on the tube, and simply ignoring them. We make excuses for this as well, such as believing the conspiracy that homeless people are not actually 'homeless' and simply drug addicts, or that sparing change might cause us to (surely not) miss the next train. However, as those who went to see this production learned, the origins and stories of these homeless are less simple than we may think.

Isaac, Jamie, ten actors and eight tech crew took to the Winterflood Theatre to exhibit the day-to-day life of rough sleepers using a technique called 'verbatim', where each homeless person presented was directly based on the story of a rough sleeper, sleeping rough in London tonight. In this performance, we were directly told by these homeless people how they had got on the streets, as well as their daily struggles dreams. From domestic violence to being made redundant, we were told the many different ways people ended up homeless, indeed showing how anyone can be susceptible to homelessness if their lives do not go smoothly.

Also, having a roof over your head really makes you never have to deal with the prospect of waking up in rain, snow or having been robbed of all your possessions, again problems which all of these people face. However, alongside the homeless characters, we were also shown our point of view (to put it one way); a news broadcast about building hostels was placed aside a rough sleeper describing the tense and dangerous environments of these hostels, and the blatant lies from the government of there being 'safe places for every single homeless person to stay'. One thing that really stood out in the performance were the sombre yet slightly optimistic attitudes of the homeless, with, for example, their simple disapproval of those who beg for money to get drugs, which is surprising, considering the impact those addicts have on the generosity of the people.

One of the cast members said, "I guess that, for me, the most eye-opening aspect of homeless life is that some people would rather be in prison than on the streets." My favourite part was probably learning more about homeless life.'N1' was a very successful project, and personally am hoping for more plays like this that raise awareness on subjects that are ignored or not talked about enough. I would like to thank all of the members of the school who helped make this happen!"

I personally am hoping for more plays like this that raise awareness on subjects that are ignored or not talked about enough.
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