Dates and Times
Sat 16 - Sun 17 Jan, Sat 23 - Sun 24 Jan, Sat 30 - Sun 31 Jan at 2pm-5.30pm
Part of Whose London Is It Anyway?, a festival of theatre, performance and discussion exploring the changing face of our capital city.
Presented by Hobo Theatre
The Lowland Clearances is a live action roleplay (larp) game about housing, social cleansing and a sense of community in London. This piece poses penetrating questions about the rapidly changing composition of the city. By presenting a piece about urban transformation as a live-action game, it empowers participants to playfully explore the political forces shaping our environment and the personal implications of building, inhabiting and losing a home.
The UK is in the midst of a housing crisis, nowhere more acutely than in London. In boroughs all over the city, social housing estates are being cleared and sold to private developers who build luxury flats, many of which remain empty after being bought by property investors. And where do the people who lived on these estates go? Some are re-housed in far-flung places outside the city. Some run the gauntlet of the private rental market. Some end up homeless.
Yet the processes of economic development and population expulsion are as old as the city itself. The streets surrounding Camden People’s Theatre themselves have seen successive waves of construction and migration. In 1800, Somers Town was farmland; by 1868, the construction of the third railway station to arrive on Euston Road, St Pancras, displaced 30,000 people.
The Lowland Clearances invites participants to consider the parallels between the Victorian era and the present day, re-imagining the city through a playful and provocative game. Based around the map of Camden circa 1850, the players (our audience) will be cast as the great and the good of mid-19th-century London, their mission being to to reshape the city for the good of its inhabitants or their own personal advantage – or both. Participants will explore the Camden landscape, gaining an insight into its cultural and economic realities and the stories of the people who made the city tick. As they forge relationships with powerful allies or use their influence to help the great unwashed, a new picture of London will emerge.
Catch The Lowland Clearances in a double bill with another show on the same evening throughout the whole festival. Two tickets for just £16!
About the company
Hobo Theatre was formed in 2012 with the aim of producing projects in unconventional contexts, telling stories with an international perspective about wanderers, adventurers and people lost at the margins. With previous projects ranging from orthodox stage plays, to improvised theatre to live-action games, Hobo is interested in all possible incarnations of drama. Their 2014 project Archipelago was seed-commissioned by CPT as part of our ’20/20 Vision’ festival.