These are the projects where we have the funding in place and we’re all hands to the pump. As well as these we are have also completed a company training and development programme funded by the Arts Council which you can find more about here.
The performance interweaves three monologues that explore the history of borders in the Middle East and the implications of their continuing collapse on those who live in the region and those who are fleeing from the wars that have been unleashed there. Andy Barrett explores – through the story of Alec Guinness and Lawrence of Arabia – the history of the secretive Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 which led to the creation of Iraq and was a key influence on the current map of the Middle East. Ishil Caner, the co-chair of the Nottingham Democratic Kurdish Society, tells the story of a woman whose sisters all live in one nation and yet find themselves in four different countries; as well as delving into the whole notion of map making and the greater importance of ‘the border in the bed’. And Adel Hamad, who works for the Nottingham Refugee Forum, shares his story of escaping the war in Syria to travel, via the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean ocean, to Nottingham. Iranian born Sherry Fatemi accompanies the story tellers with voice, daf and setar; and projections and animations are by Graham Elstone.
The premiere of the show was held at City Arts on January 25th and we are currently putting together a schedule of dates that will include a performance for the Journey to Justice project and a benefit for the Tuesday Night Project (a welcome group for asylum seekers and refugees that also provides a conversational English Class) which will be at the Nottingham Playhouse on Saturday April 8th at 8pm.
VOICES FROM KOSOVO
Over the last few years Andy Barrett has been working on a range of collaborative projects with theatre makers in Kosovo. Now Excavate have joined forces with Qendra Multimedia in Prishtina to share a variety of playscripts that are being written in this newest of European countries with audiences in the U.K.
This ongoing programme of work will begin with a rehearsed reading of a brand new play, set in a post Brexit world. Titled ‘a play with four actors and some pigs and some cows and some horses and a prime minister and a milka cow and some local and international inspectors‘ it has been ‘written by a Kosovar cynic’ and is full of the wit, energy and intelligence that is to be found in the work of a number of Kosovan playwrights whose plays are grappling with the emergence of a new nation in the face of old conflicts, and a rapidly changing Europe.
This isn’t an Excavate production but is a community and performance project by the wonderful Elaine Pantling and LaurieLorry based on the life of the Leicester suffragette Alice Hawkins. A mother of six and shoe machinist by trade, Alice was imprisoned five times as she fought for women’s suffrage and a statue of this remarkable woman is soon to be unveiled in the city where she lived.
Excavate are working with Elaine to help her shape the script that she is writing and which will be premiered through the streets of Leicester, visiting many of the locations connected to her story, before culminating at the Curve theatre.