'You Are Here' A Cultural Report by Carla Dobson-PerezWhat does it feel like to leave your home behind in search of a new life?
You Are Here by Restoke explored this journey through the stories of an eclectic group of 21 people from 15 different countries in a diverse mix of spoken word, dance and song. The tickets were passports to the ‘East’ or ‘West’, taking us on a journey through the ornate yet dilapidated rooms of The Wedgwood Institute in Burslem.
The actors breathed life into the old walls transporting us from room to room, each filled with the challenges, pain and joy of leaving a life behind and starting a new one in an unfamiliar place.
We journeyed from the Middle East to Bosnia, from Paris to Philadelphia. There was a feeling of sadness in the air but also a sense of great bravery and hope at these stories of people forging new lives in the midst of hard times.
The rawness of the experience was increased by knowing that these were not professional actors but real people conveying authentic emotions. When they cried, we cried. The ‘East’ and ‘West’ came together in the final room for an explosion of joyous dance and song, a community uniting in the spirit of friendship.
This was a performance for post-Brexit Stoke, giving us an insight into how challenging it is to create a new life in a new country. The performers welcomed us into their lives; perhaps we should do the same for them.
Appetite Cultural Reporter
The Appetite Cultural Reporter Team is a roving group of local writers, photographers and bloggers who are passionate about the arts in Stoke-on-Trent. Cultural Reporters discover and promote exciting stuff happening locally and regionally through reviews, blogs, vlogs, photography, back stage interviews and more. From theatre to circus to spoken word, they get to the heart of the action and bring it to you. Got an event coming up you’d like one of the team to review? Contact us at email@example.com