A play, telling the story of forced migration into the UK, will be at the Bristol Old Vic next month.
All The Beds I Have Slept In, follows the story of two men who became friends in a London foster home. But, Sameer (Syed Haleem Najibi) and Natty (Tewodros Aregawe) find their lives taking separate paths when one finds they are left without the Right To Remain.
The story, though fiction, has been created out of hundreds of true refugee experiences and is performed by a refugee cast.
Using a simple bed for the set on stage, it symbolises the hundreds of beds the actors have slept in on the journey from their homeland to the UK – a bed becoming the one constant due to their need to sleep yet also ever changing depending on where they are.
In the background of difficulties, there are explorations into kindnesses. These include offers of help from strangers along the way.
The play previously toured last autumn, attracting sell-out performances in London and being seen by nearly 500 refugee audience members.
It’s returning for 2023, featuring a refugee cast from Afghanistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Morocco.
Show creatives say: ‘Since the play was first created, global trends in forced migration have changed. The Nationality and Borders Bill became law authorising removals to Rwanda; while ‘Operation Warm welcome’ in response to the Afghanistan crisis was swiftly followed by ‘Homes for Ukraine’. The play reflects on these changes and what they mean for our company of refugee actors from who mostly came to the UK as unaccompanied children.’
For this tour, refugee young people and artists from around the UK were invited to contribute material to the show, which will be shared in performances. The moments have been developed through drama workshops with local refugee groups.
In Bristol, Phosphoros Theatre have been working with Borderlands, a charity based in St Jude’s, which works with refugees, asylum Seekers and other vulnerable migrants offering support and social inclusion.
All The Beds I Have Slept In will be at The Weston Studio of the Bristol Old Vic from 03 – 04 February 2023.
For more information and to book, visit: https://bristololdvic.org.uk/whats-on/all-the-beds-i-have-slept-in
Syed Haleem Najibi
Written by Dawn Harrison
Directed by Esther Dix
Produced by Juliet Styles
Movement direction by Sean Hollands
Wellbeing leads Kate Duffy-Syedi and Juliet Style.
For more information about Phosphoros Theatre: https://www.phosphorostheatre.com