Well, what can I say? what a profoundly amazing 3 weeks it’s been ! currated by the most brilliant director Susannah Tresilian. So proud and honoured to have been a part of it and to have worked with a whole range of european artists (we can also still class UK artists as european, right?!…) Here are the pieces myself and my fellow ‘NEAT Ensemble’ actors (Rebecca D’Souza, Hazel Ellerby, Karl Haynes and Rob Goll) worked on;
Mihaela, The Tiger of Our Town by Gianina Carbunariu (Romania) – Our first complete play rehearsed reading. Surreal and funny but makes you think about ‘the other’ for a long time afterwards…
The Syrian Monologues – The UK premier of the responses by April de Angelis, Sara Pascoe, Hassan abdulrazzak, Hannah Khalil, Barney Norris and Malu Halasa. I was moved beyond words by this event. We spent most of the rehearsals just trying to get through the readings without crying at certain points! very pleased to say we all managed to be strong and perform them without breaking down, but still giving them the dignity, humour and performance they deserved. I urge anyone to try to seek out & listen to individual testimonies of refugees and other immigrants as much as possible – they are not numbers they are human beings.
Against Love by Esteve Soler (Spain), translated by Hillary Gardner – another surreal and funny exploration, this time into the subject of loving (or not-so loving!) relationships…
Contemporary Nordic Drama; 839 Days by Henrik Szklany (Denmark) and Kinder K by Kristofer Gronskag. I performed 839, about sailors from Denmark who were kidnapped by Simali pirates, with Karl. A fascinating, atmospheric journey based on a real-life events.
A Day for Calais – scratch performance in solidarity with refugees in Calais, including music and singing, with Ariadne, Good Chance Theatre, Frederique Lecomte and The Vonnegut Collective. Another moving but ultimately uplifting performance of solidarity and hope.
Radio Culture by Maxim Dosko (Russia) – A day in the life of Volodya, read into microphones, with dimmed lighting and excerpts of the ‘radio culture’ in which Volodya finds himself existing. An intimate insight into one man’s thoughts.
Invisible by Tena Stivicic (Croatia) – An exploration of immigration and humanity. Modern, relevant and painfully real. A great chance to flex the comedy muscles and to be part of a heartwrenching story of displacement and self-discovery.
Reading Group Live! with the Presence Theatre Company – featuring excerpts of plays by european writers – had an interesting couple of sessions exploring text and issues surrounding the pieces with an audience, who also came to cold-read with us at points.