NEWS

POKER FACE at VOILA! European Theatre Festival

Poker Face will return to London for two nights as part of the VOILA! European Festival at the COCKPIT Theatre on the 12th and 14th of November.

Tickets are already available, please book ahead for a £2 off by clicking on http://thecockpit.org.uk/show/poker_face

More info soon!

LegalAliens at TACS 2017 !

We’re delighted to be part of TACS – an international festival taking place in Trieste from the 21st to the 27th of May 2017.

The aim of the festival is to “share theatre experience and knowledge”.

Companies from all over the world will present their work and teach workshops, in an atmosphere of international and multi-cultural collaboration.

 

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We will present Poker Face on the 25th of May at 6.30PM at the beautiful Teatro Stabile Sloveno (a bilingual venue! Very befitting of our work…) and our director Becka McFadden and our translator/dramaturg Eva Daníčková will teach a practical workshop called “Movement in translation” about our method of physicalising the specifics of a language when working on a new text.

A carnet offering access to all shows is available at only 30EUR. Single tickets 5EUR. To book please go to http://tactfestival.org

THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED WORKSHOPS

From 2015 LegalAliens ha started running Theatre of the Oppressed workshops with young people, migrants and refugees.

Our sessions involve warm up games directly inspired by August Boal’s “Games for an actors and non actors” in which participants discover space and movement through group and pair work, followed by simple devising tasks like creating a group sculpture or a multi-voice poem, and finally by improvisation.

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We run complete “forum theatre” sessions, in which participants are invited to share an example of “oppression”, the example is performed, discussed, then performed a second time but this time everyone in the audience is invited to “freeze” the scene and swap with one of the actors in order to change the dynamics and potentially turn the victim into a winner

We’ve run sessions in schools, youth centre and recently during IGNITE! the annual event organised by The Challenge UK to empower young people.

If you run a school, youth centre, refugee centre or charity and are interested in Forum Theatre or in a Theatre of the Oppressed session please contact us at info@legalaliens.org

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue sea

With the refugees crisis becoming more and more prominent in the news, with threats or more war in the Middle East and further displacement of people, we feel, as artist, the need to use theatre to make sense of what is going on around us.

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LegalAliens’ project Between the Devil and the Deep Blue sea has two purposes

– Offer theatre workshops to refugees and asylum seekers, based on Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, in order for them not only to share their stories but to try and make sense of their experiences, the differences between expectations and the reality of their new “host” country, understand the real meaning of language and culture – there’s a lot of talking about “befriending” but what is really a friend? What does the word mean in different languages, which kind of responsibilities it carries?

– Create a play inspired by the stories we hear as well as multimedia events featuring photos, videos, audio contributions and art.

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We’ve created a Facebook page, called Between the devil and the deep blue sea (https://www.facebook.com/migratingstories/?fref=ts) and we invite anyone who has a story to contribute

THE FIFTH LARGEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD- Our new project on migration

230 million people live in a country they were not born in, if it was a separate nation, it would be the fifth largest country in the world. This statistic is our starting point for the project we intend to develop. As a group of artists from different ethnic and national background, we have an abiding interest in the status of migrants in European society and the lives of the diaspora, with a special focus on the obstacles, discrimination and pressure they face. With so much press dedicated to the negative impact of immigration we feel the need to do something to re-address the balance and be part of a more nuanced debate.

The spectre of “the others” is always present, “foreigners” invading our shores, stealing our jobs, taking our benefits, cloggging our hospitals, speaking threatening mysterious idioms and pracitising suspicious religions… But who are the “migrants”? Are we sure we know these people we’re supposed to be so scared of? Are we sure we couldn’t be them one day, if God forbid our Western societies should collapse and we should find ourselves threatened by poverty, war or simply unemployment?

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The debate over immigration has turned people on each other. Has made people in sedated white only seaside towns terrified of “Eastern Europeans, Muslims, blacks!” No matter none of such communities live there, they might take over if we don’t stop them… “They”…

The others

The ones who speak different

The ones who eat smelly food

The ones with all those kids

The ones who are happy to work for less (usually because there are employees happy to pay them MUCH less, but never mind that)

But what does it mean to be the citizen of the fifth largest country in the world? And what are the norms and values of this new space that they have created? How does it transform the host country? What pushes a person to leave everything behind? It could be a desire to explore, the consequences of war, economic hardship, persecution or simply a job offer. A recurring theme of our pilot session at Migrant Voice was the normality of the lives these people had prior to departure (even refugees fleeing warzones had school exams, family homes, birthday parties before their lives were torn into pieces). The strive to succeed. And the sense of dislocation and otherness they have to contend with, even when they’ve been living in their “new country” for decades. This is what we’d like to explore: the shared experiences. The geography of this new place they’ve created.

As artists, we felt it was our duty to explore all this. Our goal is to create a big project for, with and about migrants.  We’d like to engage as many people as possible – migrants, expats, asylum seekers, refugees, international students – to hear their stories, encourage them to express their voice, find a way to represent their experience in dramatic form if possible, creating moments of community performance inspired by Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. We’d like eventually to devise and write an original show inspired by the stories we’ll hear, take it back to the people who generated the material, opening up to discussion.

The first step, of course, if meeting people. Gathering stories. Making simple theatre. We started a month ago at Migrant Voice, a charity run by two amazing women Nazek Ramadan and Anne Stoltenberg, who’ve decided to dedicate their lives to literally getting migrants heard. We organised a tester workshop with a group of people willing to share their stories. And what an evening it was! If we ever had a doubt theatre can be relevant and necessary, and able to create a “charged” atmosphere that gives participants – performers and audiences – a sense of empowerment and freedom, our session at Migrant Voice swept all doubts away. It was intense and beautiful, in two an a half hours people from all over the world and very different walks of life, became a unity where stories were shared together with tears, sobs, laughter and jokes. Some participants dares telling stories about their painful experiences they’d never told anyone before and we felt humbled and honoured that they felt “safe” and welcomed enough to do that.

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This is what we want to do. Listening, enabling, gathering. We want to help give a voice to these people everyone talks ABOUT but not many people bother to talk TO.  We’re now reaching out to other charities, associations, organisations to take this project forward. When an anonymous mass of “migrants” become a group of individuals with the same human experiences as everyone else, it’s harder to discriminate. Or at least we hope so.

If you’re interested in finding out more, if you’re a migrant who’d like to take part in a workshop, talk to us – even anonymously – or if you run a charity or group who would like to collaborate with us, please contact us at info@legalaliens.org

 

LETS HEAR THE MIGRANTS’ VOICE: a collaboration in search of stories

Migrants come and steal our jobs.

Migrants don’t speak our language properly and I can’t understand them.

Migrants speak their language on the bus and I feel intimidated.

I can’t recognise my neighbourhood anymore because migrants set up their shops.

Migrants’ children slow down the rest of the class at school

Migrants cause crime.

Migrants are terrorist

Migrants should go back to their country

Because of migrants hospitals are overcrowded.

A British politician recently, arriving late at a meeting, even managed to blame the traffic on the motorway on migrants.

But who are this headless, grey, threatening crowd we generally label as “migrants”?

As a company dedicated to explore the impact of multiculturalism on our societies, we thought it was hight time we gave “migrants” an identity and a voice. We want to discover people’s stories, journeys, dreams, experiences. We want to get to know them as individuals and listen to their point of view.

Thanks to the amazing charity MIGRANT VOICE (http://www.migrantvoice.org/) we’ve been given the chance to do just that. On the 30th of January we’ll run a workshop with a group of immigrants from different countries living in the UK, encouraging them to use theatre to express their point of view and tell THEIR stories.

We’re incredibly excited and honoured to begin this collaboration.

Keep an eye on this blog for future developments. And if you’re a non British citizen living in the UK and affected by issues regarding immigration, please contact  info@migrantvoice.org to get involved.

“Migrant Voice will transform how migrants are seen and heard in the media: from passive, disempowered and marginalised victims, to makers of their own media content. It will mobilise migrants who are concerned about the way their communities are portrayed by the media to engage in positively influencing the immigration debate and changing public attitude.”

London Theatre Passport is back

LegalAliens’ London Theatre Passport workshop is back at the Actors Centre on the 22nd, 29th and 5th of February.
An opportunity for international actors still new to London to explore the capital’s acting world, learn how and where to find work, places, venues, people, websites, CV presentation and all that jazz!

Three intense evenings, 6-9pm with Artistic Director Lara Parmiani and Associate director Becka McFadden

Fees: £60 (Actors Centre Members)
£85 (Non members)

For more info and bookings visit:
http://actorscentre.co.uk/programme/passport-london-finding-work-as-an-international-artist

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One month to go until our 3 day workshop!

A call for International actors based in London (long term or just visiting for summer)!!

Here’s your chance to join artistic directors Becka McFadden and Lara Parmiani at the City lit, in the heart of London, for three days as we unravel the secret of the London theatre scene.

On the 14th, 15th and 16th of July from 2pm-5pm we’ll run an exciting workshop provide practical skills, professional guidance and support to help you develop your career as an international performer in London.

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Topics covered:

Audition and rehearsal techniques for both text-based and devised theatre including cold readings, improvisation, and collaborative devising. Additionally, we’ll discuss how to position yourself in the market as an international performer, looking at CVs, casting websites, show reels and agencies. Finally, we’ll get you plugged into London’s creative economy with an orientation to London venues, artist development opportunities and networks.

Visit the City Lit website to book:
http://www.citylit.ac.uk/courses/Drama%2C_dance_and_speech/Professional_skills_for_actors/London_Theatre_passport_for_international_actors_run_by_Legal_Aliens_Theatre_Company/DS092

See you soon!

Chaos! The Old and the Young

On Saturday the 9th of November at the Bloomsbury Theatre Legalaliens presented the devised physical theatre piece “The ineluctabiity of chaos” as part of a series of “scratch performances” inspired by Piradello’s novel The Old and the Young.

The performances were presented during a conference organised by British Pirandello Society to commemorate the 100 years since the publication of the book.

But how to translate a 550 page volume into 20 minutes of theatre?

We had five days, four actors, and… no money. Quite a challenge…

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The novel itself is a mystery and a challenge.

A “wannabe” historical saga that keeps losing tracks of its heroes to fragment itself in hundreds of different sub-plots, populated by very theatrical characters, The Old and the Young presents no straight narrative, no lead man to identify with, no redemption and no tragedy. Although four main characters die by the end of it, their deaths aren’t tragic but absurd and totally accidental. It’s as if, whilst desperately trying to honour the memories of his parents – who fought with Garibaldi in 1860 – and the form of the classical historical novel, Pirandello ended up packing a myriad of potential characters from his future plays into one humongous tome about Italy, its corruption and its moral decline.

Sixty characters looking for a plot…

The Ineluctability of Chaos explores the possibilities of translation and adaptation in contemporary London. For five days (the maximum free space and time we were able to extract in the current funding climate) an international group of performers gathered to explore these questions:
How does a text designed to break the form of a novel become a piece of theatre that challenges the assumptions of performance?
How do we approach translation – from Italian, to English, to the body, and back?
How do we undertake such grand-scale work in an environment that compresses process and emphasizes product/performance?

Emerging from actors’ work physical and verbal scores and mining Italian political slogans and songs from the Garibaldi era, the resulting performance explores parents and children, corruption and capitalism, political aspiration and apathy with a physical vocabulary and vocal landscape that never resolves, but remains poised on the edge of control.

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Our beautiful waltz at the beginning of the play, a tribute to the glorious past…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Old man and the Young boy setting off with Garibaldi…

 

 

 

 

Revolution!

But would the new  young Italy be any better than the old?

 

 

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Some scenes in the book are so full of melodrama… so we included an opera scene… With movements instead of arias…