Presented by Potentially Brilliant Productions
5th April 2017
Reviewed by Antonio Rubio
‘One of Potentially Brilliant Production’s main aims is to provide exploratory drama workshops on socially relevant topics. These are open to the general public and those who don´t always have an opportunity to be heard.’
After reading the leaflet of ‘Refugee’, I look around, and maybe I´m wrong, but I don´t think there´s any refugees in the room. I become a bit sceptical about this event. How is it going to work without the voice of refugees? After all, the play is called “Refugee”, right? The play starts, and after five minutes I begin to feel embarrassed about my precipitated statement.
Refugee is an effective mosaic made out of moving poems, unquestionable and shocking historical facts and relevant personal experiences. It is wisely assembled with elements from Ancient Greek Theatre, which gives an even more timeless value to the play. In Greek Theatre, the same actor played different characters in the same play, and they used different masks so the audience didn’t get confused. In Refugee, there are no masks. But it doesn’t blur us. Instead, we see bullied and bullies through the same person, oppressed and oppressors, displaying a more complex and richer vision of whatever human condition is supposed to be.
When the play finishes, the fully-booked room gives a strong and sincere round of applause. The whole cast (Yahya Baggash, Michael Coates, Maggi Green, Robbie Harper, Helen Jackson, George Melling, Stephen O’Toole and Martin Zopa), and the director Mikyla Jane Durkan and Julian Bond kindly stay for a debate with the audience.
They, the cast, director and audience, share their personal thoughts, anecdotes and experiences. Personally, I can easily feel overwhelmed, sad and frustrated by all the terrible facts and news about immigration policies in Europe, and how the governments that are supposed to represent us, waving their flags in our names, continuously looking for the profit of corporations, selling weapons, triggering civil wars and making business out of them, demonising innocents, etc.
But during this debate, people also shared their everyday little (or not so little) habits to contribute for a better society and promoting human values, from smiling to our neighbours ( smiling can be a very powerful weapon against fear), to thinking twice before we make a racist joke, or getting involved with these type of social workshops.
The time to change our attitudes to refugees start from our own actions. It has to start now, and Potentially Brilliant Productions workshops are effectively doing so, and helping those who don’t always have a voice.
Potentially Brilliant Productions workshops are open to all (+18) where no experience is necessary.
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