SNEHA LALA, the director of next week's Corpus Playroom show 'Rights of Passage', discusses why the play is a must-see this term.
Very often in theatre, the same stories are told. I strongly believe the most interesting theatre of all is created when it is used to explore those who may otherwise have their voices hidden. That’s what attracted me to ‘Rights of Passage’. BME and LGBT+ voices face constant oppression and the play explores how an asylum seeker status can aggravate these difficulties. A lot of the script is in verbatim, meaning it is the real stories of real asylum seekers. Often in the media refugees are demonised; ‘Rights of Passage’ reminds us that these people are, well, people. They are humans and experience suffering, pain, happiness, laughter and tears.
Directing the play has been a pleasure. The cast have been a pleasure to work with and have really bought the characters to life. The crux of the play is the characters themselves- their stories, their emotions and their voices. The actors have been stretched and challenged to not only understand their characters as they are on the script, but to know them as well as they know themselves.
But despite the serious subject matter, what makes the play truly empathetic is its lighter moments. You see the characters in love, you see them approach clubbing for the first time, you see them accepting themselves and being accepted by others for the first time and it’s heart-warming. You get to know everything about the three main characters and love them for the strong, brave and unique individuals they are.
Humans are explored to their very cores in this play- and I hope audience will be left thinking about it long after they have left the Playroom. The refugee crisis is an incredibly pertinent and urgent issue and help is needed. Oxfam work hard to help those in migrant camps and to fight for refugee rights. Half of the profits from the show will be going towards Oxfam to help those in need.