Shakespeare’s Globe is delighted to announce the programme for a new festival of events marking Refugee Week between Sunday 17 and Sunday 24 June. One-off performances, discussions and storytelling sessions throughout the week will explore Shakespeare’s response to refuge and refugees.
On Sunday 17 June, Syrian artist Dima Karout will lead a hands-on woodcut printing workshop, Fingerprints. Participants will create a simplified sketch inspired by personal experience, memories, family objects and photos which will be carved, inked and printed to form a collective artwork exploring the evolution of identity.
Also on Sunday, a Read Not Dead script-in-hand performance of Sir Thomas More will take to the stage in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, bringing to life the plight of refugees and the May Day Riots of 1517. As with all Read Not Dead shows, actors will have just one day to rehearse the play before they present it to the audience.
On Wednesday 20 June, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will play host to a two-part dance performance Fragments of a Journey, an informal showing of work performed by refugees which will explore the theme of displacement. Hawiyya dance company, which brings women together to explore identity, culture and resistance through dance, will first present Safar: Journey. Drawing on traditional folkloric Arab-Dabke dance, the performance will celebrate the resilience of refugee women. Afterwards, male refugees working with Single Homeless Project and Palestinian theatre-maker Mo’min Swaitat will present Fragments, depicting journeys to the unknown, memories, and the shattering and reintegration of cultures.
The festival continues with the premiere of Nanjing, a piece about identity, dispossession, and the consequences of war. Written and performed by Jude Christian, it tells the story of the Nanjing Massacre of 1937, frequently referred to as the Rape of Nanking.
On Friday 22 June, Blanche McIntyre’s production of The Winter’s Tale opens in The Globe. Exploring refuge, rage and forgiveness, the play will open during Refugee Week and run until Sunday 14 October.
Panel discussion ‘Whither Would You Go’ will take place on Saturday 23 June in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. An examination of the global importance of imagination and empathy, this panel will use theatre and art to connect to the themes of Refugee Week. Panellists will include members of the Globe to Globe Hamlet company and theatre director Jessica Bauman. The Hamlet company toured every country in the world between 2014 and 2016 including refugee camps in Calais, Zataari and Djibouti. Jessica has worked extensively in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya and with migrants and asylum seekers in New York.
The festival closes on Sunday 24 June with two events for families. Renowned children’s author Nicola Davies will present her new picture book The Day War Came, explaining the inspiration and motives behind the story which depicts the plight of child refugees. A special Refugee Week storytelling session of Twelfth Night will take place in the afternoon in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, as Globe Storytellers cast new light on the displaced Viola and Sebastian.
Refugee Week, the UK's largest festival celebrating the contribution of refugees, will celebrate its 20th anniversary between 18 and 24 June 2018.
For two decades, the festival has brought together people of all backgrounds to celebrate the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and the welcome offered to them by British communities.
People are invited to celebrate Refugee Week's 20th anniversary by doing one of 20 Simple Acts, which are simple actions everyone can do to stand with refugees and bring people together in their communities.
Thousands of people are expected to join Refugee Week's 20th anniversary celebrations at hundreds of arts, cultural and educational activities across the UK.
Refugee Week is a partnership project coordinated by Counterpoints Arts. For more information on Refugee Week and Simple Acts, visit the Refugee Week website.