Transporter, a piece developed out of conversations with young people in Newport, is to return to the city!
Transporter 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. It now returns to the city which very much shaped it for two shows on Thursday 28 March, after premiering in Kolkata, India, earlier this year.
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.
Catherine said ‘Through those conversations with young people, some of whom were quite disadvantaged, what struck me was they were quite outward looking in their interests and concerns about the world and about politics.’
‘The youngsters I worked with were all aware of and troubled by events far beyond their own city and country – they were outward looking in their concerns and their questions. All of the groups were extremely welcoming and generous with their time and ideas, letting me listen to their conversations, answering my questions. Transporter owes so much to these young people, it wouldn’t exist without them. It tells a story which, like the young people who contributed to it, is anchored in Newport but also has its eyes on the horizon and beyond.’
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.
Don’t miss your opportunity to celebrate this brand-new piece influences by members of your local community and named after our own Transporter Bridge when its presented in The Riverfront on Thursday 28 March, 1pm and 7pm. Tickets are available from http://www.newportlive.co.uk/riverfront, or by calling 01633 656 757.