The Young Vic has announced a new season of work exploring the lives of refugees, including the world premiere of Now We Are Here and a new relationship with the ground-breaking Calais-based Good Chance Theatre.
The timely season will include the previously announced all-female production Queens Of Syria (5 to 9 July) and Isango Ensemble’s A Man Of Good Hope (6 October to 12 November), alongside the world premiere of Now We Are Here. Each play will use real-life experiences of refugees to tell a myriad of stories from around the globe.
Directed by the critically acclaimed Ian Rickson, Now We Are Here will play from 20 to 30 July and is the result of an eight-month project undertaken by Rickson and the Young Vic in partnership with the charity Micro Rainbow International.
While Queens Of Syria concentrates on the stories of its cast of Syrian refugees and A Man Of Good Hope explores one man’s epic journey across Africa, Now We Are Here will take attention to the plights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex refugees.
Following months of workshops, this resulting production will feature the work of award-winning poet Deanna Rodger, as a company of four actors bring the collected stories of intolerance, belonging and courage to the Young Vic’s Clare Studio for 10 days of performances, all of which will be free to attend.
The Young Vic will also collaborate with the UK’s forthcoming Refugee Week, working with young refugees to create a brand new production inspired by its recent show If You Kiss Me, Kiss Me. Staged as part of the venue’s regular Take Park Parallel Production initiative, the devised show will play at the British Museum on 24 and 25 June.
Commenting on the importance of the forthcoming season, the Young Vic’s Artistic Director David Lan said: “Horizons is the Young Vic’s response to the world as it is now. People in distress need help and they need to be heard. We want to provide a powerful means for audiences at home and abroad to connect with the political, social and human realities refugees face. These are the central stories of our age. We are thrilled and moved to be working with compassionate and fearless people, some of whom had never been to a theatre before.”
As part of the venue’s continued commitment to refugees, the theatre has made Good Chance, the pioneering theatre company based in Calais’ refugee camp, an Associate Company. Commenting on its new London home, the company’s founders Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson said: “Having a home is so important. We know this from the people we work with. We are thankful to the Young Vic for giving us a home in London as we strive to build new theatres of hope.”
Full details of the Horizons season were revealed as the Young Vic announced it had been named London’s first ever Theatre of Sanctuary following its past and current endeavours to raise awareness of refugee communities and to take action to welcome and include them in its activities.
The season will launch today with the release of Astoria, a new short film by former Channel 4 news and BBC Newsnight Economics Editor Paul Mason, which can be viewed below.