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 HAS BEGUN!

We've just started the first of 12 weeks of Community Drama Workshops for Ukrainian, Syrian and Afghan refugees, working towards creating a brand new production of Euripides' great anti-war tragedy, The Trojan Women.

We will perform a 'Showing' of our new adaptation on 10th August at Playground Theatre, Latimer Road, London W10 6RQ.

 

We are working towards a full performance 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 actor Emma Bugge.

 

These actors - working with British theatre professional Amanda Waggott - are leading community drama workshops for Afghan, Ukrainian and Syrian refugee participants, who will all work their stories into the text of the play. 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 - cooked, next week, by Yurii Kovryzhenko, Ukraine's World Food Ambassador and top TV chef, currently stranded in London by the war. One of Kiev's smartest hairdressers, Svetlana, is on hand to cut participants' hair. She will also do the hair for the play. 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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SUPPORT THE TOUR 

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.

Tour Workshops 

 

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.

UK Tour 

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.