TROJANS UK 22
A BRAND NEW ADAPTATION OF EURIPIDES’ ANTI-WAR TRAGEDY
THE TROJAN WOMEN
with a cast of UK-based Ukrainian, Afghan and Syrian refugees - professional actors and amateurs - and community hosts
TROJANS UK 22 IS HERE!
FT WEEKEND FESTIVAL - SATURDAY 3rd September Kenwood House, Hampstead, London NW3 7JR
"Astonishing...deeply moving... magnificent"
Two showings at the FT Weekend Festival of our exciting new production of Euripides' great anti-war tragedy, The Trojan Women - adapted by the Ukrainian, Afghan and Syrian cast, with the help of the Trojan Women team.
It's the result of 12 weeks of Community Drama Workshops for Ukrainian, Syrian and Afghan refugees. The cast have all worked their own stories into the text of the play.
The 'Showing' of our new adaptation was first performed on 10th August at Playground Theatre, Latimer Road, London W10 6RQ - to rave reviews and a standing ovation.
We are working towards a full performance later this autumn.
The new drama project includes a core cast of professional Ukrainian, and Syrian-Palestinian actors - all exiles from their homelands - Arwa Omarem, Valery Danko and Alina Venerchuk - as well as the British actors Emma Bugge and Grace Haydn. Other participants have include Ukraine's World Food Ambassador, Yurii Kovryzhenko.
These actors - working with British theatre professional Amanda Waggott - are leading community drama workshops for Afghan, Ukrainian and Syrian refugee participants.
This is the first step in our planned country-wide tour of performances alongside community drama workshops in every place we tour.
We also provide a creche for participant's children and a hot lunch. The project is monitored by a Ukrainian psychologist.
The aims are, as ever, to help refugees get over isolation, trauma and depression, to give them a platform to tell their stories to their host communities, to build links between refugees and their host communities and try to provide new professional and personal opportunities. The multi-lingual workshops will also help the participants learn English.
We intend to tour this production and the accompanying drama workshops round the UK over 18 – 24 months.
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ABOUT TROJANS UK 22
The Pilot Project Has Begun!
We are spearheading this project in Kensington, London, partnering with SET Kensington, The Ukrainian Community Centre and various Afghan and Syrian refugee networks and The Playground Theatre, Latimer Road, W10, commissioned by K+C Festival.
In the pilot project, we are running weekly multi-lingual mixed gender drama workshops – with accompanying creche and hot meal - at SET Kensington for three months, for refugees and host community members. We are working with the highly respected Syrian actor Arwa Omaren, who came here as a refugee herself last year, and two Ukrainian actors, Alina Venerchuk, who arrived a few weeks ago, and Valery Danko.
Alongside the brand new adaptation, we will be running further six weeks of multi-lingual weekly drama workshops with refugees and host community members in different regions of the country. At every location we tour, we will incorporate local refugee/host community workshop members and their stories into the cast of the play, after a week of intensive rehearsals in each location.
We are incorporating host communities into the workshops, in order to help migrants make friends and build bonds with host community members, rather than find themselves stuck in ghettoes.
We are also running a creche for the participants’ children and provide participants with a hot meal, to help them build community ties.
In line with Covid-19 sensitivities we will ask participants EITHER to show their vaccination certificate OR a negative lateral flow test in the previous 24 hours.
The Play Itself
On top of the workshops, we will also have a one-off four weeks of rehearsals with the refugee/host community professional cast to create the core of the play. Subsequently, we will re-rehearse the play for a week in each location with local cast members, who will supply the chorus etc, and work their own stories into the play.
London Mini Tour
On the back of the pilot project, the immediate aim is to set up a London-wide mini-tour and community drama workshops. We are already in discussion with the Chelsea Theatre, on the World's End Council Estate, SW7, and are talking to other councils, community centres and theatres in South London, East London and North London. The intention is that in every theatre we will produce a performance which relates to and includes the local community, in order to build bonds.
Building on the success of the project in London, our future intention is to roll the tour out country-wide, partnering with local councils and communities.
Why Do It This Way?
The reason for recreating the project in this way is to expand our reach, both of the psycho-social support workshops and the advocacy reach of the play itself. We have always had enormous demand to tour our plays, but it is almost impossible to tour a play with an amateur cast – they have their own lives and families. However, by incorporating a core cast of refugees/host community who are professional actors, and working with refugee/host community amateurs in each individual area, we will be able to overcome this challenge to create a powerful and emotive production, while staying true to the key aims of our project.