|The Calais Jungle. Photo: Jamie Wiseman|
The play, written in response, is being given a rehearsed reading at Rich Mix on October 11th at 6.30pm. The cast is Rachid Sabitri, Olivia Darnley, Ross Hatt, Peyvand Sadeghian and David Furlong, directed by Michael Walling.
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Brian Woolland writes:
Whilst participating in THE PROMISED LAND project, I was privileged to have many remarkable conversations with young people recently arrived in Europe from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria and Mali; conversations which were illuminating, inspirational and deeply challenging to many of my own preconceived notions about 'refugees'.
This play is a response to the project and to those conversations. As the project developed it became increasingly evident that all talk about migration and immigration in simplistic numerical terms is a denial of humanity – of theirs (whoever they might be) and of our own. The play also aims to address the assumption that by creating borders and building walls we can pretend that what’s on the other side is not our concern, not part of our world.
The play is not a documentary drama, and certainly not verbatim theatre, but it does draw heavily on conversations with participants in the project, including those refugees we met in Adana, Bologna, London, Oldenburg and Toulouse.
I would like to thank all who participated in every way in THE PROMISED LAND project. I am particularly grateful to Micaela Casalboni and Nicola Bonazzi of Teatro dell’ Argine (Bologna) for their richly insightful conversations and inspirational theatre company. And above all to Michael Walling of Border Crossings, for asking me to take part in the project, for our continuing conversations and for organising this rehearsed reading.