A one-off performance will highlight the global refugee crisis – and raise funds for UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency.
On Saturday, June 23, performers from across Cheshire will come together at Chester Little Theatre to present Moving Stories - an intimate performance of short plays and sketches written in response to the global refugee crisis.
According to recent figures from the UNHCR, there are nearly 22.5 million refugees around the world – over half of whom are under the age of 18.
The 2015 European migrant crisis was the biggest since the Second World War, with over 1.2 million people seeking asylum.
Moving Stories was developed in response to this.
It was first performed at the National Theatre in 2016 by a cast of well-known actors, including Juliet Stevenson and David Morrissey.
The pieces were written by some of Britain’s leading playwrights including David Edgar, Michelle Terry and Stephanie Dale – writer of the 2013 Chester Mystery Plays, and of The Lost Boy which received its world premiere at St Mary’s Creative Space in Chester last year.
Moving Stories now arrives in Chester, and this performance has been organised by Cassian Wheeler – himself a performer in the 2013 Chester Mystery Plays.
He sees a strong link between the two.
Cassian said: “Five years ago the Mystery Plays portrayed the flight of the Holy Family as refugees, set against the backdrop of countries where children are directly involved in conflict.
“And in 2015 we all saw the harrowing images of families escaping conflict and caught up in the European migrant crisis.
“Now here we are, in 2018, and the crises are still there – in Myanmar, in Syria, in Yemen.
“These stories still need to be told and these voices still need to be listened to.”
The Chester Little Theatre production of Moving Stories is just one of several similar performances taking place up and down the UK during Refugee Week, which runs from June 18 to 24. But what makes this performance unique is the inclusion of a brand new piece.
Cassian explained: “Members of the Little Theatre’s Youth Theatre are performing a dramatised version of My Name Is Not Refugee, based on the award-winning children’s picture book by Kate Milner.
“It is being performed with the author’s personal blessing and we are really excited to see this being included as part of the show.
“The pieces that make up Moving Stories are dramatic, poignant and sometimes very funny.
“But they are all linked by what it is like to be a displaced person - and how we respond to people in crisis.”
Moving Stories will be performed in the Salisbury Studio at Chester Little Theatre on Saturday, June 23 at 7.45pm (Recommended age: 14+).
Tickets are £5 each, with all proceeds going to UNHCR.
Further donations will also be accepted after the performance.
Full information can be found on the Chester Little Theatre website, www.chestertheatreclub.co.uk .
Tickets can be booked via the website, or telephone TicketSource on 0333 666 3366. Booking fees apply.