To mark last week’s nationwide Refugee Week, West Yorkshire Playhouse hosted a programme of performance, discussion and celebration.
Monday saw the Theatre of Sanctuary Great Get Together for refugees and asylum seekers, as part of the nationwide Great Get Together inspired by the late Jo Cox. Attendees received a warm welcome sharing poetry, dance and song. Monday also saw the screening of two short films, Migration and Settlement, created with refugees and the University of Leeds.
Common Cause, a discussion and forum event for artists, charities, local government and outreach organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds ran on Tuesday, sparking important conversations and fresh connections. Local artist Akeim Toussaint Buck was also welcomed back in to the building, performing solo show Windows of Displacement.
Wednesday saw Bradford based theatre company Displace Yourself Theatre perform Free To Stay, a production exploring belonging inspired by real accounts of statelessness in the UK and overseas. Following the second performance of Windows of Displacement, a rousing Movements Across Time discussion held by a panel of academics and local outreach organisations engaged audiences.
The Refugee Council lead a public Myth Busting discussion on Thursday, exploring refugees’ personal stories and journeys, plus the facts behind the media coverage. Tim Baker’s Scattered, dramatizing the meeting of two cultures bringing a complex topic to life for younger audiences enthralled the younger audience members.
The Refugee Week activity ran alongside our regular programme for refugees and asylum seekers. As a Theatre of Sanctuary, West Yorkshire Playhouse offers a range of activities, including a dedicated women’s choir, youth and drama groups and special ticket offers.