Chris Thorpe presented by China Plate and Staatstheater Mainz


Chris Thorpe creates accessible, political work that deals with big themes. As a playwright, he has been commissioned by high profile theatres such as the Royal Court in London and the Royal Exchange in Manchester. He is also a collaborator and performer with independent UK companies, such as Third Angel and Unlimited Theatre, and has worked extensively in Europe. He is currently working with US director Rachel Chavkin (The TEAM) to produce a trilogy of performances. These performances explore the behaviours and politics that people experience every day, but rarely stop to challenge. Status is the second part of the trilogy, following Confirmation (Edinburgh Showcase 2015).

Status is a Fringe First winning solo show performed by Thorpe. It explores former UK Prime Minister's statement that "if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere". The piece draws on international conversations about national identity, incorporating songs and stories. Status asks whether the impulse to run away from national identity is a useful one, or whether it’s a rejection of responsibility open only to the few. In the UK, the show performs to theatre audiences, but also seeks out audiences in a wider range of venues who don’t usually see theatre, to start discussions about nationalism and identity.

Status is in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Please note that the show can be surtitled easily. Please also note that the video below contains strong language.

In the press

“A dense and provocative barrage of reflections on a world in flux and our place within it” The Guardian

“The words are eloquent, the music essential and powerful, and the performance full of a brilliant, prowling precision…” The Scotsman

Production details

  • Writer

    Chris Thorpe
  • Director

    Rachel Chavkin
  • Designer

    Set and Costume Designer: Eugenia Leis, Lighting Designer: Katharine Williams, Sound Designer: Tanuja Amarasuriya, Video Designer: Andrzej Goulding
  • Number of people on stage

  • Number of people in touring company

  • Freight

    Excess baggage
  • Touring Availability

    Status is touring in the UK and Europe from 13 September to 2 November 2019. Available before and after those dates.
  • Scale of venue

    Small-scale (capacity up to 400)
  • Minimum performance space

    3.6m x 3.7m x 2.7m
  • Text-based

    Dense (important for audiences to have a good understanding of English)
  • Also contains:

    Live Music, Strong Language

In Edinburgh

  • Venue

    The Blue Room, Assembly Venue, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LK
  • Production dates

    17–24 AUGUST
  • Production times

  • Duration

    80 MINS
  • Audience capacity




The themes in Status – British identity and what it means post-Brexit – can be the focus of debates about current events in the UK in a global context. Additionally, the wider ideas about national identity allow for participation and perspectives in more internationally-focused discussions.

Chris is experienced in leading one-off or longer-term writing and making workshops, with groups ranging from teenagers with nonspecific performance experience to university students, to more established artists and peers. These can focus on specific aspects of the show, e.g. making work about contemporary local politics, making work from autobiography, songwriting, or planning research processes to inform solo work. There’s also a strand of workshops that are more general and skills based, around writing for performance, poetic text in performance, and making the relationship between a solo performer and audience dynamic.

Additional productions

The first piece in the trilogy, Confirmation (looking at the phenomena of confirmation bias and right-wing political extremism) won a Fringe First Award at Edinburgh Festival 2014, was selected for the 2015 British Council Edinburgh Showcase, has completed three UK tours, two London runs and played in Berlin, Mannheim, New York, Vienna, Athens, Porto, Brisbane, Bucharest and Beirut.

"Rachel Chavkin’s fast-moving, kinetic production offers us an absolutely compelling performance from a man who is fast becoming one of the most powerful performers in the UK" ★★★★ The Scotsman