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  • Writer's pictureFlora Warrington


This week we finally started our first workshops for Trojans UK 22, in SET Kensington, a fantastic studio space in W8. About 15 people came to our first workshop, a mixture of Ukrainians, Afghans and Syrians. We had Arwa, a Syrian actor who had fled her home two years ago, when ISIS took over her town, walked for five weeks through Kurdistan and Turkey, before finally making it to the UK; Alina, a Ukrainian actor, who was doubly traumatised - not only is she a refugee but her bag, phone and wallet were all stolen during a photo shoot in Mayfair last week; and Valery Danko, a Ukrainian actor who has been in London for a while but now finds herself stranded here. Samira, an Afghan artist, cooked us a fabulous Afghan lunch of pilau, with almonds and scented rice and lamb, and aubergines. Samira brought two Afghan friends to run our creche. Yurii, Ukraine's top TV chef came too - he and his wife Olga had come to London in mid February to cook a banquet at the Ukrainian Embassy, only to find themselves stranded by the war. After six weeks camping in the Ukrainian Embassy, they are now staying in someone's spare room in Chelsea, while he desperately tries to restart his career. Yurii very kindly said he'd cook our lunch next week - for rather less money than he is used to getting! And Svetlana - one of Kiev's top hairdressers - and her daughter, who is hoping to read psychology at university next year. Emma Bugge, a British actor, was also part of the core team.

The workshops were lead by our co-producer, Amanda Waggott, a West London theatre professional. We through balls at each other, learnt each other's names. Svetlana, who'd brought all her hairdressing equipment, and an album of fabulous hairdo's, very kindly cut my hair, while the workshop adjusted William as a sculpture, and then created tableau based on the idea of Victory and the mourning of Hecuba. Everyone then created a soundscape of London - birdsong, beeping cars, low level traffic hum, wind in the trees - it actually sounded quite rural, like being in Hyde Park.

It's the beginning of something we hope will be great - but it's also the culmination of weeks of planning and fundraising - still on-going! So many, many thanks to all our donors, for making this possible, including SET Kensington, K+C Festival, the Lottery and various private donors.

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