Photo Credit: Robin Mitchell
Inspired by Shakespeare’s masterpiece, Hamlet Asylum Seeker fuses modern writing with eloquent speeches of Shakespearian grandeur. Breath-taking aerial routines combine with gritty acting. Imagine Hamlet as an asylum-seeking African Prince. Born into a royal Household, Hamlet flees his war-torn country after his father is murdered by his uncle. Now his uncle has re-married his mother and Hamlet is forced into exile.
Follow Hamlet as he struggles to be taken seriously by British immigration officials and social workers. We see him living rough and vulnerable, with fellow asylum-seekers, alcoholics, drug users and criminals. As Hamlet’s mental health deteriorates, he starts to hear voices, experience delusions and consider suicide. While sleeping in doorways, he is confronted with terrifying visions of a corrupt police state full of sycophants, liars and cheats, where his villainous uncle and weak mother reign. As he tries to remain in the UK, Hamlet shocks the authorities with his life story.
BandBazi are thrilled to be working in association with Talawa, Britain’s primary black-led theatre company, on this exciting piece of new work. The research and development phase of the show was presented in London in May 2014; this performance saw five professional actors work with a community chorus to bring Hamlet Asylum Seeker to life for an audience of invited guests. See the film of the research and development phase here:
Hamlet Asylum Seeker will tour in 2017 to venues across the UK; each location will have a community chorus of adults who identify with the themes of this piece of work (i.e. adults with mental health and wellbeing issues or refugee/asylum seeker status). These groups will work to a framework of scenes, set out and coordinated by BandBazi and Talawa, and will perform alongside the professional cast when the production tours to their venue.
For more information about Hamlet Asylum Seeker please contact BandBazi on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01273 245584
Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts
Brighton and Hove City Council, Arts Partnership Award
Brighton and Hove City Council, Small Grants Mental Health Promotion Scheme