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How To Be Lucky – Refugee Play - 9th October 2018

18th October 2018

Last week SMC were fortunate to host a performance of How to Be Lucky’, delivered by Yorkshire theatre company An Invisible Man  The play was commissioned by Migration Yorkshire and shared widely with young audiences

How to be Lucky is a theatre performance with an integrated workshop that seeks to examine aspects of the modern refugee experience of settling in the UK and particularly in the Yorkshire Region. 

Following extensive research and conversations, predominantly with Syrian refugees and with the many professionals and volunteers who are assisting their resettlement here, the principal narrative follows the Story of Anwar, a 30 year old Syrian man and his wider family, as he recounts his and their personal journey from Syria to the UK via initial displacement in neighbouring Jordan.

The story of Anwar is the story of millions of people who each year nationally, regionally, globally find themselves forced to pack a final bag and to escape from an unbearable situation in the place they have always known as home.

In the production there were breaks in the action where the company lead the audience in discussions and exercises, allowing the audience time and space to explore their own thoughts and feelings about the subject and their own reaction to the details of Anwar’s and other refugees personal experiences.

The Hull Refugee Service Manager, reported back to school after the event:

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your efforts in bring the performance of refugee play ‘How to be Lucky’ at St Mary’s to fruition in Hull.

The performance was really wonderful, it really captured the experiences of refugees who are fleeing war and persecution and the very difficult choices that they face.

Sid’s performance was very real and really captured and communicated in detail, the emotional turmoil that refugees, faced with such situations, go through.

The whole performance was unique in the way that it took the audience so deeply into the experiences of the character and with the input from Steve, it clearly explained why refugees may be facing such experiences, who they are, where they come from, why they may be here in Hull and how their experience could easily be our own.

The young people from St Mary’s should also be greatly commended, they seemed very willing to focus on the play and were very attentive to the performance and asked really pertinent and insightful questions when engaging with Steve about the play.

The setting at St Mary’s for the performance was also really great, offering a quiet, intimate space which allowed the audience the right environment to experience the play fully and in depth. Given the short notice that St Mary’s received in preparing for the play, huge thanks and appreciation should go to the Mr Lancaster, Head of Performing Arts, for his efforts to make this happen.

I appreciate that a lot of work has gone into researching the material on Steve’s part to ensure that the play has real integrity in terms of capturing the experiences of refugees, many thanks for your efforts, Steve, they are greatly appreciated.

The performance of the play in Hull has given a voice to people who are often not heard or who when heard do not have the opportunity to fully communicate their experiences to the rest of the world. The hosting of the play has definitely enabled the voice and experiences of refugees to be heard in the city, and your support and hard work to achieve this is greatly appreciated and will remain long in the memory”