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What an incredible show!

The level of work gone into this performance is remarkable, yet it was performed with such fluidity and ease. However, the subject matter did not leave the audience feeling easy, this was emotive, challenging, heart-breaking and significant.

Award-winning and internationally acclaimed physical theatre company Gecko presents a provocative story of desperation and compassion, inspired by the epic journey from Yemen to Palestine that Artistic Director Amit Lahav’s grandmother Leah made with her family in 1932 to escape persecution.

The performance is a collection of stories, family stories, of migrants travelling and trying to find new safe countries to call home. This collection of stories is not linear, they meld within each other beautifully yet not losing sight of that family’s journey.

There were no words, well there were words but they were in languages we couldn’t understand. Each performer spoke their own language, therefore no one was intended to understand the words yet we could clearly comprehend their meaning through the expressions, tonality, pace and movement. The physical performance was exceptional, every fibre of their bodies were consumed in the stories they were portraying.

The stage was moody, misty and dark with areas of light as scenes were played out. This created the mood of the show, after all the subject matter isn’t jolly family fun, it was dark to encompass the gloom, the depression, the despair of what these people were doing – trying to flee unsafe environments and cross borders, the only time there was brighter light was when they were successful crossing into safer territories.

These stories were told in an incredibly touching way, stories which included trying the befriend the border guards, or watching others get through but you can’t because the colour of your skin, or one of your party being left behind, or killed, or surviving the small boat journey with the help of an inadequate life jacket. Each story was moving.

With emotional levels high after watching the performance, right at the end each performer stepped forward stated their name, where their family originally came from and why they came to the UK. This was the ultimate emotional hit into the chest. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. Each story we had just watched in this incredible way, was each of their ancestral tale. As you can imagine, It made these stories go to a deeper level, in fact, I am welling up writing this as the emotions from that night come flooding back. What some people have to go through. It felt like an honour for these stories to be shared with us.

Gecko will be announcing tour dates, including the debut at the National Theatre, please try to go and watch it.

Photo credit: Mark Sepple

Link to Geko website


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