New play tackles plight of young asylum seekers

A new play set to appear in Liverpool this month will focus on the experience of young people seeking asylum.

‘Night Light’ will perform at the city’s Capstone Theatre on January 25 and was specially commissioned by Oxford-based producion company Mandala Theatre.

Written by award-winning playwright Nadia Davids, and directed by Yasmin Sidhwa, the play highlights the situation of young people arriving in England, alone and seeking sanctuary, and what happens to them when they turn 18.

Night Light’s relevance is greater than ever, post-Brexit, and Sidhwa believes that exploring this issue in dramatic form can bring to life the problems faced by these young people, showing that they are not just a set of statistics.

She said: “They have no family and their homes have been destroyed. They have been housed and cared for in Britain.

“But at 18 they can be kicked out with nowhere to go. England has become their home but England no longer wants them.”

The Mandala team has talked to and run workshops with refugees and asylum seekers, and their experiences have hugely informed the play, as has academic research.

They will also be involved in feedback after the show. Yasmin tells how one young refugee said: “These are our lives and we want people to know about this.”

Night Light has been touring nationally since September and is the first part of a three-year creative programme supported by Arts Council England.

Mandala aims to commission, produce and tour a new play each year, with actors aged 18 to 25 from diverse backgrounds.

In addition, it will debate key issues with communities, including refugees, NGOs and charities, local councillors and politicians at each venue.

Tickets can be booked via Ticket Quarter, by calling 0844 8000 410 or via https://www.ticketquarter.co.uk/Online/night-light