Downpatrick Courthouse has been the scene of much drama for around 200 years, but with a new twist, the showing of a world premier play in the building will be a new experience for theatre goers.
Kabosh is delighted to announce the world premiere tour of Rosemary Jenkinson’s “Lives in Translation” at Downpatrick Courthouse on Tuesday 31st October at 8pm.
Written by Rosemary Jenkinson and directed by Paula McFetridge, Lives in Translation is a hard- hitting new production based on interviews with female Somali asylum seekers and their support workers. The show celebrates the human survival instinct through the story of one woman, Asha, who in fleeing conflict and becomes trapped in a different struggle. She is trapped within the suffocating
bureaucracy surrounding asylum seeking.
Staging the performance in Downpatrick Courthouse is a powerful statement on how individuals going through the asylum process can be made to feel to feel as though they were on trial. It will be a once in a life time experience for audiences to see theatre brought to life in such a unique setting.
Performed by Tony Flynn, Julie Maxwell and Raquel McKee. featuring original music by Dónal O’Connor and video art by Conan McIvor, this poignant new drama explores how recent asylum seekers must navigate support systems through translation, how disempowering and frustrating this system can be, and ultimately how time is controlled most by those it affects least.
Paula McFetridge, Artistic Director of Kabosh, said: “Kabosh is dedicated to giving voice to the people in our community whose stories most need to be heard. Those individuals going through the asylum and refugee process need to be represented in our shared culture and community. We aim to foster an understanding of the struggles endured and encourage informed debate.
“Theatre is a powerful tool for sharing perspectives collectively, the impact of which is felt long after the audience has left the space. Staging the performance in Downpatrick Courthouse is a powerful reminder that as people navigate the lengthy and confusing asylum process, they are constantly on trial, constantly held to account, constantly treated as criminals. We need to consider how a fairer, more humane legal system is developed.
“This is a story that needs to be told, a story we need to hear.”
Rosemary Jenkinson, Playwright, said: “Two years ago, I was shocked to read in the papers about a refugee who felt so let down by government agencies that he set himself on fire outside Belfast City Hall to draw attention to his plight.
“The refugee crisis is clearly the urgent political story of our time. To write Lives in Translation I interviewed asylum seekers living in Belfast to learn the truth about their lives, from why they had to leave their countries through to the complexities of trying to claim asylum within the UK and Ireland.”
Gilly Campbell, Arts Development Officer for Drama and Dance, added: “Lives in Translation is a powerful, challenging drama which reflects the times we live in and demonstrates the value of the arts in stimulating discussion around difficult social issues. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is pleased to support Kabosh with this new production and I would encourage everyone to go along.”
Tickets for the performance are £10/£8 and are available from Down Arts Centre Box Office | Phone 028 4461 0747
The tour also visits S13 Belfast (25th – 28th Oct), Ards Arts Centre (1st Nov), Dungannon Courthouse (2nd Nov) and Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Derry (4th Nov), and is supported by National Lottery and public funding though the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Booking and information for all other performances can be found at:
Kabosh is an independent theatre company focused on staging new theatre in interesting places using the history, stories and buildings of Northern Ireland as inspiration. Founded in 1994, the company is committed to challenging the notion of what theatre is, where it takes place and who it is for.
Rosemary Jenkinson is a playwright and author from East Belfast. Currently artist in residence at the Lyric Theatre, her previous plays include The Bonefire (Rough Magic), The White Star of the North (Lyric), Planet Belfast (Tinderbox), Wonderwall and Ghosts of Drumglass (Kabosh).