As I walked into the auditorium whilst being handed an immigration card, and being surrounded by dialogues from migrants and refugees from all around the world, I was now in a migrant’s world. It wasn’t a subtle start. I was thrown into the experience right from the very beginning.
The first phase is about ‘Home’. I listened very carefully to the different voices that defined home. Home is such a comforting place, full of love, relations, bonds, communities…. it is what we know. Listening to the different definitions did really make me think about how lucky I was to be in a safe and loving environment that I could call home and could return to whenever I wanted and chose to. This may not be an option for some of the migrant voices that I hear.
As this was a musical, the music didn’t disappoint either. Lovely voices and beautiful moves (some elegant and some energetic) to accompany the music and the narrative.
Phase two was about relationships – I’ll stop right there and not disclose any more otherwise I’ll end up talking you through the whole play.
I’ve never really sat and thought deeply about migrants or refugees and their experiences before. This play opened up my mind to that and lots more. There are local and national issues that impact migrants, extreme dangers that migrants experience in their journey to freedom, government policies that put their lives at risk. When you stop and think about it, it is quite disturbing.
On the flip side, there are various success stories. For example, the businessman, the doctor, the teacher, who not only have made a life for themselves in the country they live in but also positively contribute to society and community. So are these individuals really free, have they found a new home or do they dream to go back home one day? All these questions are provoking.
So what is it to be British, where do we all come from, are we all children of migrants and is this something to be embraced and celebrated.
This is one of the most thought-provoking productions I have recently watched. But isn’t that the point of theatre?
Review by Shaidi Ramsurrun
Chickenshed presents an artistic response to the urgent and pressing questions of global migration, and investigates the concepts of national and personal identity.
We find ourselves in a world where the building of walls – both in reality and figuratively – places ever more barriers between people who have more in common than it might at first appear. This powerful new musical and dance production will offer new perspectives on the forces driving both individual and mass migration, as well as telling the story of families directly affected. Thrillingly told with the urgency of youthful voices, this promises to be an unforgettable piece, very much in the style of What’s On Stage 2019 Offie award-winning Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.
Director – Lou Stein
Creative Directors – Michael Bossisse, Pete Dowse, Ashley Driver, Bethany
Hamlin, Georgie Jacobs, Loren Jacobs, Sarah Jones, Will Lawrence,
Nathaniel Leigertwood, Belinda McGuirk, Cara McInanny, Jonathan Morton,
Robin Shillinglaw, Dina Williams
Movement Director- Dina Williams
Music composition and MD – Dave Carey
Vocal Direction – Fiona Carey
Production Manager – Zeeta Jacobs
Design Sebastian Gonzalez
Technical Manager/Lighting Design – Andrew Caddies
Costume Design/Supervisor – Emma Gale
Multimedia and Sound Design – Phil Haines
Project Manager – Fiona Carey
Waiting for the Ship to Sail