A story about arriving, belonging and finding home.
Poet and playwright Lemn Sissay has adapted this powerful, startling new play from Benjamin Zephaniah's acclaimed novel, first published in 2001and now a worldwide phenomenon.
As a violent civil war rages back home, teenaged Alem and his
father are in a B&B in Berkshire. It's his best holiday ever.
The next morning his father is gone. He's left a note explaining
that his parents want to protect Alem from the war. This strange
country is now his home.
On his own, and in the hands of the social services and the Refugee Council, he lives from letter to letter, waiting to hear something from his Father.
Then Alem meets car-obsessed Mustapha, the lovely 'out of your league' Ruth and dangerous Sweeney - 'no nickname. It doesn't get shortened'; three unexpected allies who spur him on as Alem fights to be seen as more than just the Refugee Boy.
Gail McIntyre, Associate Director for Young People's Theatre at the Playhouse, directs a gripping new production which pulses with energy, anger, loss and beauty.
"Tremendous…The acting is consistently superb…This production is as
welcome as spring. See it."
British Theatre Guide
beautiful production bringing Zephaniah's characters vividly to
life…Fisayo Akinade is quite wonderful as Alem…Gail McIntyre's
direction is energetic and fast-moving."
Exeunt - 4 stars
"Alem (Fisayo Akinade) and his supporting actors completely blew us
away…A must see."
Leeds Student - 5 stars
"Fine and humane play…Sissay weaves in poetry, laughter…moments of
The Times - 4 Stars
"Once in a while, a theatre production comes around which should
not be missed. This is one of those productions."
"Sweet, funny, highly inventive, brilliantly directed…Dominic
Gately is staggeringly good"
Yorkshire Post - 4 stars
Alongside the production we've put together a programme of events and community and education projects to celebrate diversity, bring people together and dispel myths.
Welcoming The Worls celebrates Leeds' newest arrivals who have come to seek sanctuary here. In sharing their talents and enjoying the ricj mix of cultures they bring we shall share what we all have in common: rich and diverse histories, love of good food and music and a desire for safety for us and our families.
Conversation: Benjamin Zephaniah and Lemn Sissay
Saturday 9 March
Saturday 16 & 23 March
Students from the University of Leeds have curated an exhibition which will take you on a journey around the Playhouse:
Adaptation - A Practical Introduction
Inspired by Lemn Sissay's adaptation of Benjamin Zephaniah's novel 'Refugee Boy', students in this session are given an introduction to the process of adapting poetry into a short piece of drama. This session will help students gain more of an understanding about how to extract and interpret information and ideas from a selection of poetry written by Benjamin Zephaniah in order to write and develop a short piece of drama.
This session is suitable for students in KS2 (year 6) and KS3 (years 7 and 8)
Wednesday 20 March, Thursday 21 March and Tuesday 26 March
10.30am - 12.30pm
£19.50 per student (includes ticket to matinee performance,
Max: 30 students per session
Adaptation: An Online Resource
Part one of this resource guide will offer a comprehensive and detailed insight into the process of 'adapting' a novel for the stage, focusing on how to extract and interpret information, events and ideas from texts, and how to use planning, drafting, editing, proof reading and self evaluation to shape and craft writing.
Part Two will examine what it may feel like to have to be adaptable in a wide range of unfamiliar settings and contexts, in and beyond the classroom. It will help to encourage students to gain a greater understanding of the flight of young refugees and their needs in a new society. Part two will also offer guidance for teachers about how they can support young refugee students in their schools.
Promoting Positivity and Inclusion: CPD session for Primary and Secondary School Teachers
In this 2 hour session, City of Sanctuary and The HEARTS team from The Children's Society will provide guidance for schools on how to promote positive attitudes and instill a model of welcome, safety and inclusion within their school settings for students from a refugee background. Schools will also receive advice about how to apply for School of Sanctuary status.
If you would like to attend this session please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 28 February
5.30 - 7.30pm
Max: 40 participants
The Young Refugees share their stories
Read the blog from The Children's Society here.