In the top of this theatre pub, the Clapham Fringe has been conjuring an array of performances. This day, I happened to be seeing the show ‘Choosers’.
Choosers sees the meeting and friendship between two homeless men. Spanning only a few months and based all around one park bench, these two unlikely kindred spirits meet, and we are introduced to their past present and future.
The set it simple – one bench, the younger homeless man with a suitcase of bits and pieces, the other with only what is on his body. There are leaves pinned to the staging and strewn across the rostra to give that ‘park feeling’.
Our younger performer is a university student who has run away from his course, his home and his responsibilities, feeling unloved and unseen in comparison to his marine brother. The older, full of secrets, some of which we never find out, has been homeless for 5 years out of choice.
Both with a different story to tell, yet both choosing this life, our views on the homeless are challenged, from not only why they have chosen to become homeless, but to the way they live – the older actor says that begging isn’t right and that it should not be done. He makes friends to find food and we soon warm to him as he warms to the younger performer. The younger performer is annoyingly young – perhaps slightly stereotyped, he is bouncy and full of naivety. At times it’s hard to keep up with his fast paced approach to the character, and becomes a little exhausting with consistent pacing.
Overall Choosers is a lovely performance, full of friendship and warmth, contradicting the world views on the homeless. Well worth a watch if you are able to keep up with the speed of the university character.