Search

30 Sept 2022

Derry theatre company brings acclaimed refugee play to Northern Ireland  

“Behind each refugee and war zone there is a person and a home. With Mohand & Peter we aim to celebrate them"

Derry theatre company brings acclaimed refugee play to Northern Ireland  

Actors and real life best friends Mohand Hasb Alrosol Abdairahem and Peter Pearson

A Derry-based theatre company that works with marginalised communities is bringing a highly acclaimed play about the refugee experience to Northern Ireland.

Patricia Byrne, Artistic Director of Sole Purpose Productions, invited London-based theatre company PSYCHEdelight to perform its play, Mohand & Peter, in Derry and Belfast as part of Good Relations Week September 19-25.

Mohand & Peter will be staged at the Duncairn Arts Centre in Belfast on September 20 and 21 and Pilots Row Community Centre in Derry on September 23 and 24.

Patricia saw the play while in London in March and was determined to bring it to Northern Ireland. 

She contacted the Founder of PSYCHEdelight and the play’s Director, Sophie Bertrand Besse, and the pair worked together to make it happen with support from the Community Relations Council, Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Sophie said the purpose of the play is to address the trauma of long-term exile and to rehumanise people and places. “Behind each refugee and war zone there is a person and a home. With Mohand & Peter we aim to celebrate them," she said.

Mohand & Peter tells the true story of a London-based Sudanese refugee who longs to return to his homeland to see his friends and family. Despite the serious theme, it is packed full of humour, physical theatre and is suitable for adults, families and young people.

PSYCHEdelight Theatre facilitated arts-based workshops in the notorious Jungle Refugee Camp in Calais throughout 2015-2016. Sophie witnessed among the refugees an eagerness for comedy as a way to contrast and express their tragedy.

The play stars real life friends, Mohand Hasb Alrosol Abdalrahem from Sudan and Peter Pearson from Newcastle upon Tyne.  

Mohand, a Sudanese refugee, is missing his home and family so he transports Peter and the audience on a wonderful journey to his homeland.  

Performances will be followed by Q&As with the actors and director. The company will also run Together Workshops which will provide a space for refugees and host communities to mix, socialise and have fun. 

These workshops are run regularly at the Southwark Playhouse and The Park Theatre in London.

Patricia said her interest in the situation for refugees was linked to her experience of being the child of Irish immigrants growing up in London in a multicultural, immigrant, working class area.

“My parents often felt discriminated against, they remembered the signs that said ‘no blacks, no Irish, no dogs’. I’ve always endeavoured to promote multi-cultural work through Sole Purpose Productions," Patricia said.

Patricia Lavery, Head of Community Arts and Education, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added, “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is proud to support Sole Purpose working with PSYCHEdelight Theatre with this latest production which demonstrates the power of using the arts to shine a light on and create open discussion around challenging, important subjects. Congratulations to all involved.”

Sole Purpose has been working with refugees and asylum seekers for the past six years delivering Theatre in Language workshops and hosting Conversation Cafés in Derry, bringing refugees and local people together.

Mohand & Peter will be staged at the Duncairn Arts Centre in Pilots Row Community Centre in Derry on September 23 and 24 and Belfast on September 20 and 21 and. Tickets are £10. 

The performance on Friday September 23 will be a special free event for Culture Night. Free tickets will be available for refugees and asylum seekers.

For more information about how to book tickets go to: https://www.theduncairn.com

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ mohand-and-peter-tickets- 396595496807 or https://www.solepurpose.org/

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.


Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.