Was it a true story?
My heart nearly broke
When the lights went out
On the boy who had journeyed for so long
And now sat, folded into himself;
Forehead, elbow, knee,
Alone on the floor in the cold police station.
A small hand rises wobbling from the throng
Of kids on the floor of the yurt
To ask the first question,
What we’ve just seen an’ all,
Was it real?
Everything in the story had happened to someone,
The artists had interviewed dozens of refugees who’d fled Syria
And made it to Oslo
And from their separate stories
Had stitched together a journey for the show’s protagonist
And his friend.
Abdullah is warm, quick, resourceful;
He ushers us into the yurt and zips himself into a tent.
He has all of us laughing and answering his questions straight away,
Startled brown eyes and phone that is ‘smart’
His heart saving its grief in order to tug his body to freedom.
Dolls, puppets, torches, lights, a plastic bag,
A mime, a plea, chase and refusal, a map,
A newspaper, help, death
And a simple, chilling explanation
of how a boy drowns at night
surrounded by a silent village of figures.
My heart broke and sung
Among the warmth of people
Gathered in a tent, inside a theatre
Reading a map made of music
And fear and the human need to be free.
Tenderly this show told us
We were equal and needed.
Myself, eight teachers and countless school kids
sat enthralled for 55 minutes in a yurt.
If you can see it don’t miss it
This show throws necessary light on
Where we have been standing in relation to each other.
Emma for DRAFF
We come from far far away by New International Encounter runs at the Ark as part of Dublin Theatre Festival until October 15th.
Image: Premysl Bukovsky
Posted: 13 October 2017