Changing State by Tian Glasgow – review

Published: Saturday, February 7, 2015 7:09 AM | Review by: Lloyd Lewis-Hayter | Afridiziak Star Rating:
Changing State Ashden Oke as PR Agent & Belinda Fenty as Emma © Camilla Greenwell Changing State Ashden Oke as PR Agent & Belinda Fenty as Emma © Camilla Greenwell

Changing State is Tian Glasgow's second play under New Slang Productions. A stylised piece, the play has been in the making since 2012 and has had a long journey since then.


With the help of Ideas Tap and the use of Crowdfunding, a work in progress reading at Talawa Studio and collaboration with Lonely Londoners, Changing States has made it to the stage of full production at Hen and Chickens Theatre.


Changing State Michael Robinson Stephen and Belinda Fenty as Emma © Camilla Greenwell Changing State Michael Robinson Stephen and Belinda Fenty as Emma © Camilla Greenwell

An intimate and experimental play, the black backdrop is marked with typical anxieties of someone growing up in the modern world and acts as a constant reminder of the pressures the characters are fighting with. Moving between characters with the use of simple costume changes, actors also often address the audience directly in their monologues as well as reciting facts and statistics, conjuring up a Brechtian atmosphere for the audience to truly question the characters' issues.


Set in London in 2019 the script follows four friends as they each struggle with becoming adults and have to come to terms with what little it seems their future holds. Over the next 90 minutes we get an insight into the lives of a teenage mum to be, an 18-year-old fighting to move his sick sister out of a damp council house, a law graduate who has resorted to dealing drugs and an unemployed south London girl who feels her only way to a better life is through winning a TV talent show.


Changing State Ashden Oke as Tyrone © Camilla Greenwell Changing State Ashden Oke as Tyrone © Camilla Greenwell

Pulled back to fit its current small scale production or built upon for a larger stage and budget, the intriguing elements of Changing States will surely come to light.


With a riot scene, a murder, dramatic monologues and a TV talent show all played out on stage the script often feels too ambitious for both its small surroundings and cast. The fact that the personal is political also seems to be forgotten as more emphasis is placed on the flaws of the government and society in general than the characters' personal motivations.


Pulled back to fit its current small scale production or built upon for a larger stage and budget, the intriguing elements of Changing States will surely come to light.



Info: Changing State by Tian Glasgow is at the Hen and Chickens until February 14, 2015 | book tickets




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