Refugee's tale is inspiration for pair performing at 24-hour vigil

The tale of one refugee’s escape from Libya by boat to Malta will be the central focus of a short performance by two DMU students at this week’s 24-hour #LoveInternational vigil.

Ross Thomson & Kirstie Johnston IMG_6237

Third year Performing Arts students Ross Thomson, 21, from Edinburgh, and 20-year-old Kirstie Johnston, from Luton, together form the Ten29 Theatre Collective.

The pair volunteered to put on their recent work A Place by the Sea, using mainly a table and chairs as stage props, as part of the vigil, which runs from midday on Wednesday until the same time on Thursday, in Hawthorn Square.

“We went on a #DMUglobal trip to Malta in September, an artistic residency, during which we were tasked to create a performance, which later became A Place by the Sea,” explained Ross.

“We focus on using people’s stories and experiences to create our work.”

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It was through researching this project that the pair met a church minister in Malta, who told them a story about a refugee who had fled from Libya by boat eight years earlier.

Ross added: “He started the boat journey with his family and in our performance, we see what happens when he arrives in Malta.

“It’s about his relationship with his brother, with the other people in the boat, and then with the minister. It’s about love and compassion.”

Kirstie said: “We have taken his story and played with it to show the plight of refugees.

“When you hear about 1,000 refugees here, or another 1,000 there, you can become desensitised to their situation.

“We wanted it to be the story of one person…and then the audience can realise that each of the thousands also have their own stories.”  

The pair are performing A Place by the Sea at DMU Open Days and will also take it to the two-day Departure Lounge Check-In Festival at Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre on March 25.

Click here for full details of the #LoveInternational vigil.

Posted on Tuesday 7th February 2017

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