Global Queer Plays, March 2018

Presented by the Arcola Queer Collective as part of Creative/Disruption 2018.

Contempt by Danish Sheikh (India) 

Queerness, class, and a colonial-era clause. As a lawyer battles for their rights and judges decide their fates, ordinary LGBTQ Indians tell their stories. 

55 Shades of Gay by Jeton Neziraj (Kosovo)

Translated by Alexandra Channer 

When the EU’s funding your town’s new condom factory, be braced for a sexual revolution. Even if your country’s constitution has already got it covered.

No Matter Where I Go by Amahl Khouri (Jordan) 

Theory’s great if you’re into that sort of thing. But when these queer women step outside the safety of a seminar room, real life hits them all too quickly. 

Only the End of the World by Jean-Luc Lagarce (France)

Translated by Lucie Tiberghien 

Louis travels home to break some news. Even in this more enlightened time, it’s not going to be easy. Why is it still so hard for us to talk about our lives? 

Taste of Love by Zhan Jie (Taiwan)

Translated by Jeremy Tiang 

As Taiwan heralds East Asia’s first equal marriage law, one man struggles with prejudice in a still conservative culture. Can his relationship take the strain? 

Peace Camp Org by Mariam Bazeed (USA) 

A happy-clappy peace camp in the US should be the perfect escape when your Egyptian family’s freaking out about your private life. Right? 

Winter Animals by Santiago Loza (Argentina)

Translated by Samuel Buggeln and Ariel Gurevitch 

An ageing father visits his son who long since fled to the big city. There’s something unspoken in the room. And something unexpected in the fridge. Winter Animals was translated and first produced in English by the Cherry Arts, Inc., Ithaca New York.

Global Female Voices, April 2018

Curated and performed by the Arcola Women’s Company and friends, as part of Creative/Disruption Festival 2018.

Endlings by Celine Song (South Korea) 

Directed by Fumi Gomez 

On the island of Man-Jae in Korea, three elderly women spend their dying days diving into the ocean to harvest seafood with nothing but a rusty knife. They are haenyeos – “sea women” – and there are no heiresses to their millennium-old tradition. Endlings is a real estate lesson from the last three remaining haenyeos in the world: don’t live on an island. Unless it’s the island of Manhattan… 

Orchid – A Verbatim Play by Mũmbi Kaigwa (Kenya) 

Directed by Verity Fine Hosken 

There are so many reasons why a woman may suffer from fistula, a hole in the wall of the birth canal, but there is no good reason why that woman can’t be treated. A fascinating verbatim piece telling the stories of women survivors from Kenya, that premiered at the Manchester Royal Exchange in 2016 as part of the B!RTH festival. 

Foreign Gifts by Nina Kossman (Russia) 

Directed by Sophie McKay 

Sisters argue for their way of life, the only way they know. Socialism vs capitalism: who’s the winner? A simple conversation over the dinner table creates a cold war in their front room. 

Emily of Emerald Hill by Stella Kon (Singapore) 

Directed by Amelia Sharp 

Born in 1940s Singapore, Emily is abandoned as a child. Through her wit and cunning, she becomes the matriarch of a distinguished household and Singapore society’s ‘hostess with the mostest’ – but at what cost? Her story, played out in the decadent glory days of the Singaporean Peranakan community, celebrates the triumph of the human spirit to survive, succeed, and ultimately stay relevant in an ever-changing world. 

Cinderellas Ltd by Zdrava Kamenova, Gergana Dimitrova and Anette Daubner (Bulgaria) 

Translated by Atanas Igov and Nathan Cooper 

Directed by Lora Krasteva 

Three princesses from different countries, speaking different languages; all on a quest for happiness. But what happens when Prince Charming turns out to be a disappointment – or doesn’t turn up at all? When is it time to stop waiting and take matters into your own hands?

Global Female Voices, July 2018

Presented in association with Arcola Participation.

Where We Belong by Madeline Sayet (Mohegan Nation, USA)

Directed by Ignacia Goycoolea

Performed by Siar Kanik

Where We Belong is a solo performance piece interrogating notions of belonging in a globalized world. As the descendent of generations of Mohegan Medicine People, Madeline Sayet uses her personal narrative, the legacy of her ancestors who travelled to London in the 1700s, and traditional storytelling to ask what it means to be a Native and an immigrant today.

Dream Team by Minna Nurmelin (Finland)

Translated by Kristian London

Directed by Ally Poole

Performed by Paula Sillman, Sheree Kane, Clariss M. Kye, and Hinako Matsumoto

Does your life require some clear direction? Well worry no more – the Dream Team coaches will help you realise your true potential. Say yes to yourself and your dreams will come true!

The Life of Planes by Vanessa Vizcarra Soberon (Peru)

Directed by Denise Stephenson

Performed by Dian Cathal, Maya Helena, and Ciara Pouncett

Trees are dying from the inside out. Leaving her family in Peru, plant Pathologist Sarah is determined to save them. But when the aeroplane her son is travelling on disappears, Sarah loses all sense of direction

body Art by Sol Rodrígues Seoane (Argentina)

Translated by Clara Tilve

Directed by Kathleen O’Dougherty

Performed by Charlotte Dowding and Shona Graham

“Love is a souvenir. Love is archaeological. Love is a slide.” Eléne and Aimée recount the story of their relationship as student and mentor, artists and lovers; piecing together the fragments of a postmodern romance.

Inside Voices by Nabilah Said (Singapore)

Directed by Zhui Ning Chang

Performed by Isabella Chiam, Julie Cheung-Inhin, and Zara Hemati

Nisa, Lily and Fatimah meet in the dead of the night. There is nothing to do and everything to talk about. Inside Voices is an exploration of women’s rights, motherhood and agency within the context of Islam in the contemporary age.

Global Female Voices, Feb 2019

Ali Wright

Presented in association with Arcola Theatre and curated by Fauve Alice.

Tales Of a City by the Sea by Samah Sabawi (Australia/Palestine)

Directed by Belinda Clarke

Performed by Sami Edris, Lauren Santana, and Kheira Bey

Torn between two worlds and one heartbreaking ultimatum, Jomana and Rami must decide whether love is strong enough to battle religion, family and home. 

Shikhandi – The Story of the In-Betweens by Faezeh Jalali (India)

Directed by Filiz Ozcan

Performed by Sanee Raval and Reema Chandarana

Shikhandi was Amba in her previous life who had sworn revenge on Bhishma for abducting her from her Swayamvar and then refusing to marry her. On her wedding night, Yaksha gives Shikhandi his penis in exchange for her vagina, and she (Shikandi) is transformed into a ‘man’. However, on the battlefield (of Kurukshetra, between the Pandavs and Kauravs), Bhishma sees Shikhandi as a woman. Will Bhishma attack Shikhandi? Will Shikhandi finally get her revenge?

Encounter written and translated by Nina Mitrović (Croatia)

Directed by Emma Linley

Performed by Hari MacKinnon and Mark Grindrod

What happens when a fon and his father talk? On the verge of conflict, where communication is almost impossible, Encounter brilliantly captures the charged atmosphere between father and son, where resentment and love resides.

I Often Dream of Revolution by Olga Dimitrijević (Serbia)

Translated by Ksenija Latinović

Directed by Ifewumi Fagunwa

Performed by Reema Chandarana, Sheree Kane, Lauren Santana, and Nicolle Smartt

Three women meet at the beginning of a social revolution. As they join the upheaval, I Often Dream of Revolution explores the role of women in social change and war migration, and the power of feminist love, solidarity and friendship.

Ella (She) by Susana Torres Molina (Argentina)

Translated by María Claudia André and Barbara Younoszai

Directed by Betsy Picart

Performed by Hari MacKinnon and Sami Edris

Two men reveal their desperation, fragility and vulnerability, when suffering from uncontrollable desire. How far will they go to win one woman’s complete devotion and love?

The post-performance panel discussion was curated by Fauve Alice, and featured Foreign Affairs artistic director Trine Garrett and theatre practitioner Zhui Ning Chang.

Global Arab Female Voices, March 2019

Ali Wright,

Presented in association with Arts Canteen as part of the Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival at Rich Mix.

Curated by Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso, the plays presented are:

Them by Samah Sabawi (Australia/Palestine) 

Directed by Tanushka Marah 

Performed by Nezar Alderazi and Lara Sawalha 

A tragicomedy about love, honor and sacrifice in times of war, violence and immorality. Caught in a war zone, five young people count down the days before they can sail away to Europe. Who leaves and who remains, and what price do you pay for these choices? 

Noura by Heather Raffo (USA/Iraq) 

Directed by Layla Madanat 

Performed by Laila Alj and Tanushka Marah 

Eight years ago, Noura and her family fled their home in Iraq. Today, she plans the perfect Christmas dinner to celebrate their new life in New York. But when the arrival of a young refugee stirs up long-buried memories, she and her husband are forced to confront the cost of their choices, and retrace the past they left behind. 

The Manual of Little Wars by Chrystèle Khodr (Lebanon) 

Translated by Katharine Halls 

Directed by Sara Aniqa Malik 

Performed by Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso and Stuart Vincent 

A woman tries to save her marriage through a storytelling game, retracing ten years of memories with her partner. The two slowly discover that their personal narrative is trapped in the history of the city they love: Beirut. Is separation inevitable, or is reconciliation still possible? 

Ordinary People by Zainab Magdy (Egypt) 

Translated by Zainab Magdy and Katharine Halls 

Directed by Diyan Zora 

Performed by Dilek Rose 

A woman sits at her desk, working. Her world exists in structures of people, dates, and events. A shift occurs: losing track of an event, the memory of a face, sliding back and forth with her past and forcing her to see her future. What surprising connections can be made in the banality of the everyday? 

A Sheep Chase by Amiya Nagpal (UAE) 

Directed by Beverly Andrews 

Performed by Serafina Salvador 

A contemporary take on the experience of being a global citizen, belonging everywhere and nowhere. A woman wanders through foods, visas, passports, diasporas and languages, with access to all the mundane and remarkable that comes with capitalism and globalisation.

The post-performance panel discussion featured curator Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso and academic Dr Nesreen N. Hussein.

Global Queer Voices, April 2019

Presented in association with Arcola Theatre as part of the Creative/Disruption Festival. 

Curated by William Gregory, the plays presented are:

Furious Orlando by Pedro Víllora, translated by David Drake (Spain)

Directed by Elliot Jokinen

Performed by Orietta Subrizi and Emily Joh Miller

Based on the poem Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto, this monologue is a tribute to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. 

He Came To Berlin To Die by Jason Morris Danino Holt (Israel) 

Directed by Guido Garcia

Performed by Cinthia Lilen and Alyx Nazir

An accumulation of testimonies and threads from the Berlin queer community, through which there is an investigation into death and the dying myth of Berlin. 

Will You Come With Me? by Ebru Nihan Celkan, translated by Kate Ferguson (Turkey)

Directed by Tasmine Airey

Performed by Sedef Hekimgil and Dilek Rose

Everything started with defending trees in Gezi Park, with a peaceful demonstration, with a party. A social movement. A new love. Umut begins both with tenderness, but one ends in violence and terror, and the other becomes an endless ordeal. How does she stand against the uncontrollable?

My Dear by Olga Dimitrijević, translated by Ksenija Latinović (Serbia)

Directed by Yuyu Wang

Performed by Lolade D. Ajala, Tanushka Gill, and Isabel Pudden

Dragica’s partner Ivana has passed and she now spends her days with Zagorka, watching their city Belgrade transformed into a newer, more modern space where they do not belong. The play confronts issues of age, ideology, sexuality, and gender discrimination, shining a light on older women who have fought against cultural norms for their dignity, pride, and happy endings. 

Talking Heads by Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile (Botswana)

Directed by Rebecca Goh

Performed by Lolade D. Ajala and Mzz Kimberly/Kim Tatum

Two neighbours: one a widower who seeks femme freedom, rattling the cage of Botswana’s constraints, and the other a God-fearing housewife, just happy to be at home. The two explore the excitement of being single and available together in this comedy about love. 

So Far by Vikrant Dhote (India)

Directed by Elliot Jokinen

Performed by Orietta Subrizi and Emily Joh Miller

Two ex-lovers meet and discuss their lives. This short play is a moving exploration of people living a heteronormative life while being queer, a stark reality for many queer people in India.
The post-performance panel discussion was chaired by translator William Gregory, and featured Chinese drag king Whiskey Chow, academic Dr Stephen Farrier, and playwright Jason Morris Danino Holt.

Global Indigenous Voices, June 2019

Presented in association with Border Crossings as part of ORIGINS Festival at the British Library.

Curated by Madeline Sayet, the plays presented are:

Bingo Hall by Dillon Chitto (Laguna and Isleta Pueblos, Mississippi Choctaw – U.S.A.)

Directed by Mariana Aristizabal

Performed by Raphael Ruiz, Acushla-Tara Kupe, Hadleigh Harrison and Vanessa Lee

Wisecracking Edward Anaya makes all the calls in his Pueblo community – at least, he calls the numbers at the senior center’s bimonthly bingo gathering. But college acceptance letters kick-start an identity crisis. Who will Edward be if he leaves the bingo and home behind?

Where the Summit Meets the Stars by Frank Henry Kaash Katasse (Tlingít – Tsaagweidí – Juneau, Alaska, U.S.A.)

Directed by Sani Muliaumaseali’i

Performed by Melissa Veszi, Karim Nathan, and Sammy Attalah

A young Alaska Native woman wakes up on a tugboat after a plane crash, with a mysterious captain who rescued her. She fades in and out of consciousness while flashbacks fill her in.

Women of the Fur Trade by Frances Koncan (Couchiching First Nation – Canada) 

Directed by Bethany Wilkinson

Performed by Kaily O’Brien, Giedre Antanaviciute, and Terema Wainwright

Three nineteenth-century women explore their cultural inheritance as they navigate the rapidly changing world of the Canadian fur trade. Using twenty-first century slang, these women share their views on life, love and Louis Riel. Koncan mixes humour and history, shifting perspective on women’s power in the past and present.

The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan (Algonquin Nation, Kitigan Zibi community – Quebec, Canada)

Directed by Raphael Ruiz

Performed by Vanessa Lee,  Mariana Aristizabal and Hadleigh Harrison

Forced to rely upon traditional wisdom for their survival, Elena and Bern retreat from the remains of civilization to a freezing, desolate landscape where they attempt to continue their lives after the end of the world. When a charismatic stranger from the village arrives seeking their aid, the women must decide whether they will use their knowledge of the past to give the society that rejected them the chance at a future.

The Third Country by Sani Muliaumaseali’i (Samoa – Vaiala/Fasitoo-uta/Pu’aPu’a New Zealand / Aotearoa -Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland)

Directed by Sani Muliaumaseali’i

Performed by Alan Mosley, Agness Nyama, Melissa Veszi and Kate Milner-Evans

Amira is a child refugee from Afghanistan held in an Australian detention centre in the Pacific. Alone and afraid, her dream world can’t keep her safe forever. Someone is watching. On the mainland the heat gets to Dolores and she wants out. Her decisions unleash repercussions that ignore time and space – but she’s too hot to notice. The Australian government’s policy on detaining children in detention centres comes under the spotlight in this harrowing tale on the state of being human.

The post-performance panel featured director Madeline Sayet, academic Dr Stephanie Pratt, and artist Sani Muliaumaseali’i.

Global Black Voices, August 2019

Presented in association with the Roundhouse. Curated by Bridget Minamore, the plays presented are:

I Love Him BUT… by Maxwell Odoi-Yeboah (Ghana)

Directed by Sean Graham

Performed by Oyin Orija, Kwame Asiedu, Susan Abebe, Ben Scheck, Comfort Fabian, Benjamin Sarpong-Broni, and Michael Oluborode

Jesse and Akua have to separate as a couple because of Jesse’s alleged infidelity. Mercy, their only child, is about to get married and Akua will not allow Jesse to play his role as father during the traditional marriage ceremony. Their friends, Nii Armah and Aba are facing a similar situation as a warring couple. Aba, however, has decided to fight for the love of her husband. Will marriage prevail?

Deux Femmes on the Edge de la Revolution by France-Luce Benson (USA/Haiti)

Directed by Kaleya Baxe

Performed by Miranda Shamiso and Helen Baranova

A pig is sacrificed, a goddess seduces a young bride, and enslaved and self-liberated Africans on the island of San Domingue rise up to end slavery and destroy colonialism. The epic story of the Haitian Revolution is told from the perspective of two women who form an unlikely alliance. Like the rebels, their journey will forever change the course of history.

The Preacher’s Wife by Shayera Dark (Nigeria)

Directed by Abigail Sewell

Performed by Akiya Henry and Adele Oni

The play follows the relationship of a popular megachurch pastor’s wife and her young lesbian lover in the aftermath of the passage of the anti-gay law in Nigeria, and how they deal with the new challenges presented. 

No Easter Sunday for Queers by Koleka Putuma (South Africa)

Directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr.

Performed by Tyrone Sann, Comfort Fabian, Miranda Shamiso, Oyin Orija, and Susan Abebe

A nonlinear play shining a light on South African hate crimes in intimate relationships and broader society. Two queer lovers who are murdered at a church over Easter Sunday. The play explores how religion, religious communities and often our families play a huge role in instigating and executing hate crimes. It aims to find a language and dialogue that will serve as a bridge between the queer child who is raised in an orthodox religious environment and the environment itself.

54 Silhouettes by Africa Ukoh (Nigeria)

Directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour

Performed by Tobi King Bakare, Michael Fatogun, and Cherise Silvestri

A struggling Nigerian actor gets his shot at fame and fortune when his agent lands him a role in a major Hollywood blockbuster, but then he discovers it’s exactly what he swore to never do again—another “war in Africa” film. Caught between career ambitions and ideals of his African identity, he must decide whether to do the damn film or ditch it.

How Blood Go by Lisa Langford (USA)

Directed by Stella Odunlami

Performed by Tosin Alabi, Annabel Pemberton, Tyrone Sann, and Daniel Reid-Walters

Quinntasia is an African-American woman about to embark on a career as a health and fitness expert. Her ancestor, Bean, was an unwitting participant in the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment in 1930s. Quinntasia learns her healthy body is the result of a futuristic experimental device, activated without her consent, that makes her appear White to doctors. Will Quinntasia give up her Blackness to make her dream come true? Meanwhile, Bean and his brother, Ace, relive their own experience with unethical medical treatment in while watching over Quinntasia.

The post-performance panel discussion was curated by Bridget Minamore and featured poet and performance maker Inua Ellams, Afridiziak Theatre editor Sophia A. Jackson, and writer Jasmine Lee-Jones.

Global Voices Birthday: Deux Femmes on the Edge de la Revolution Reading

Global Voices Birthday: Deux Femmes on the Edge de la Revolution Reading, 24 April 2020 7.15pm

Roundhouse

Global Voices Theatre mark their second birthday, and the work of the brilliant global playwrights they work with, with a full length reading of France-Luce Benson’s Deux Femmes on the Edge de la Revolution and a topical discussion with the playwright and other special guests.

A pig is sacrificed, a goddess seduces a young bride, and enslaved and self-liberated Africans on the island of San Domingue rise up to end slavery and destroy colonialism. The epic story of the Haitian Revolution is told from the perspective of two women who form an unlikely alliance. Like the rebels, their journey will forever change the course of history.

Book tickets here: https://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/2020/spring-season/global-voices-reading/

La Jana

La Jana, 27 March 2020 8pm

Tristan Bates Theatre

“Life is not the future, it is now.”

In a fiery exposé, a fish-stealing thief reminisces about the devastating 2010 Chilean earthquake, remembering her family and dissecting modern politics. Following a sold-out excerpt reading at Global Latin American Voices at the Roundhouse in 2019, LA JANA will now debut in full in the UK. Join us to discover this work-in-progress tour-de-force, a timely plea of Chilean and working class people around the world.

Book tickets here for only £7/£5 https://www.actorscentre.co.uk/theatre/la-jana