The Romany Theatre Company and Ovalhouse in co-production with New Wolsey, Ipswich present: Our Big Land
Our Big Land is the first play by a Romany Traveller writer to be presented in the UK, originally written in the Romani language with Gypsy music and songs Oceania, a powerful Romany matriarch, is convinced that Sophie, a Gorgia house dweller, is destined to become the next keeper of the bauro diklo, the sacred storytelling shawl. The bauro diklo is the lifeblood of Romany people, carrying the hard earned lessons of the past and showing The Way into the future. When Sophie falls in love with Oceania’s handsome but brutal son Roman, Oceania is overjoyed. But a catastrophic event on Sophie and Roman’s wedding day threatens not only to tear apart Oceania’s plan, and family, but the whole future of the Romany people.
Our Big Land is a provocatively dark, atmospheric piece of theatre. The style has a poetic beauty mixed with gritty realism, while the songs and movement transport us to a world rarely seen on stage before. The themes of family bonds, cultural loyalty and the battle between head and heart resonate throughout.
Dan Allum said: “I set out to write a play about the history of my people but ended up with a work that for me explores the essence of human nature through the veil of cultural loss. Or put another way, it’s about each of us losing touch with our own deep selves as we move toward an increasingly technological/information obsessed age. It’s also very important to me to get the Romany voice out there and I believe this play will help do that.”
Dan Allum is the Artistic Director of the Romany Theatre Company. Dan is a Royal Court Theatre commissioned writer who created and was lead writer on the 36 part radio series Atching Tan broadcast on BBC East from 2008-10. Dan Allum’s spin-off Afternoon Play for BBC Radio 4 was shortlisted for both the Richard Imison and Audio Drama Awards. He adapted The Diddakoi for BBC Radio 4Extra, and his new Radio 4 adaptation of the Carmen novel is currently being broadcast. Dan is currently collaborating with the BBC and Royal Opera House on a potential new stage production, developing a film script on a Creative England programme, and working on a new drama series for E4.
Founded in 2002 by Dan Allum, Romany Theatre Company aim to create powerful and inspirational drama for theatre, television or radio. Their work is rooted in the culture and experiences of Romany people and focuses strongly on their struggle for equality and challenges negative opinions of them and the lives they lead. With a commitment to education as well as drama, the company provides opportunities for Romany people with accredited learning programmes. They have nurtured new Gypsy talent who have gone on to work with organisations including the BBC, Endermol, the Arvon Foundation, the Royal Court, Bristol Old Vic, Soho Theatre and Universal Studios.
They have also worked with international artists from Eastern Europe and Brazil, and run workshop collaborations with companies from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States of America.
Running Time: TBC
Suitable for Ages: 10+
Funded by Arts Council England, The Foyle Foundation and Ovalhouse
Cast: Scarlett Brookes – Sophie, Samuel Edward-Cook – Roman, Robyn Moore Oceania
Creative Team: Performed by The Romany Theatre Company, Directed by Amy Hodge, Written by Dan Allum, Designed by takis
Sound Design by James Fortune, Lighting Design by Lee Curran, Musical Arrangement by James Fortune, Choreography Sarah Dowling
Written by Dan Allum, Directed by Amy Hodge
National Tour 13th Feb to 14th March 2014
Ovalhouse, London 18th Feb to 8th March
13th to 15th February 2014
New Wolsey (studio), Ipswich
St George’s St, Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 3NF
01473 295 900
7.45pm, Sat mat at 2.30pm, £8.50 (£5 under 26 concs.)
18th February to 8th March 2014
52 – 54 Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SW
020 7582 7680
Tues to Sat, 7.45pm, £14 (£10 & £8 concs.), previews £7 (18th ,19th)
12th March 2014
Norwich Arts Centre
51 St. Benedict’s Street, Norwich, NR2 4PG
01603 660 352
8pm, £12 (10 concs.)
13th to 14th March
Hat Factory Arts Centre, Luton
65-67 Bute St, Luton LU1 2EY
01582 878 100
7.30pm / £10 (£8 concs.)
Thursday 16th January 2014