Gilmorehill G12, Glasgow, Thu 21 Jun
Did you know that fish and chips were first introduced into the UK by Jewish immigrants in the 19th century? Or that the UK receives less than 0.5% of the world’s refugee population? Probably not, thinks Christine Bacon, Director of Actors for Refugees, thanks to the government and tabloid press ‘feeding us daily myths that the UK is over-run by refugees and asylum-seekers who steal our jobs and houses,’ as she puts it - untruths that the company’s latest production aims to quash.
‘This is a first-hand account of the UK asylum system by people who’ve experienced it - a rehearsed reading of moving and shocking testimonies of human experience,’ says Bacon. ‘Hearing people’s personal stories puts the audience in a different place, which engages the listener and allows them to see the asylum seekers as human beings, people just like them’.
To coincide with Refugee Week, the show will be performed on a single night in 12 UK cities. ‘It’s not theatre in a traditional sense,’ says Bacon. ‘It’s a truthful account which attracts a diverse audience. It’s not trying to be confrontational; it centres around the fact that we never get to hear these people’s voices.
‘We’ve now reached the stage where people think their Portuguese neighbours are asylum seekers. However, after seeing the show they should have a better understanding of what an asylum seeker is, and the positive contribution they’ve made to our society.’