CAN has a long and proud tradition of theatre productions which give voice to the experiences of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants living in Greater Manchester. These productions are usually co-produced with communities and aim to articulate their hopes, dreams and challenges. The productions have achieved strong well-being agendas for the participants; produced exciting and fresh new work that is relevant and of interest to audiences; and a voice for one of society’s most marginalised groups through high-profile media coverage.
The company has a strong body of theatre work with women refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in recognition of the very specific challenges they face. Partnership with the refugee sector is central to our approach.
Recent productions have included:
Heart’s Core (2013): A Co-Production with refugee and asylum seeker women and lead artist, Cheryl Martin resulting in a cross-art form, immersive production exploring the life journeys of the women involved.
Rule 35 (2015): A Co-production with refugee and asylum seeker women and lead artist, Cheryl Martin exploring the UK system of detention, its emotional, psychological and physical impact on women and ‘Rule 35’ which is supposed to prevent very vulnerable people from being detained. See the video link below.
Standing in My Own Truth (2016): A Co-production between women from migrant and refugee heritages, and Rani Moorthy, exploring narratives of truth.
All productions had strong outcomes for the women involved, including a huge growth in confidence, creative skills and an improvement in their emotional wellbeing. The also communicated strongly to audiences with 95% rating the performances as excellent.
Rule 35 also struck a chord with the press linked to a Channel 4 documentary and political enquiry into practises in British detention centres. The play gained extensive press coverage including feature articles in The Guardian Online, The Observer and Manchester Evening News, three radio interviews including a feature on BBC Radio 4’s PM show and BBC Radio Three Counties show. Extracts of the show and interviews were also broadcast on Russia Today TV and we also had interest from Channel 4 News and Sky News.