Theatr Iolo’s Transporter Tackles Migration Issues In Cardiff
Theatr Iolo’s co-production with Newport’s Riverfront Theatre plays Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre this week.
The piece, written by Catherine Dyson is a one-woman, spoken word piece which explores what it is to be a teenager in a world where political and personal issues collide at every turn.
Developed in 2017 as part of Theatr Iolo’s Platfform programme, schools and community groups throughout Newport worked closely with Catherine and The Riverfront to develop the piece.
Developed for ages 11 and up, Transporter follows a thirteen-year-old girl called Maya who is always on the move, who is always looking for the last safe place on earth. Funny, fearless and frightening, the piece explores themes of identity, difference, conflict, and what it means to come or not come from somewhere.
Catherine describes her piece as ‘about migration to a certain extent, although I never set out to write a piece about refugees or migration, I wanted to write about being 13 and being not in control of your life, and to write about safety and family and home and what that means when you’re 13.’
Through artist development programme, Platfform which encourages artists to make work for young people, Catherine was based in The Riverfront and this is where her idea of writing a piece about identity, safety and home really came into fruition.
Although never explicitly mentioned, the piece is set in Newport as Maya arrives in another new home. As she sets her story we learn she is both ordinary and extraordinary; schoolgirl, time traveler, shaman, telling a tale which spans decades and continents. She tells tales of classroom conflicts and flights across deserts. She talks of ice cream dreams and thwarted revolutions. These stories weave together, and the local and the global and the personal and political collide.
With direction by Andy Smith and sound design by Lewis Gibson Transporter plays Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre from June 20-22, 2019 as part of Refugee Week. Visit shermantheatre.co.uk for details.