by Neil Pugmire
Performed: October 2003, Havant; June-July 2004: Southampton, Farlington, Southsea, Havant and Shedfield
Have you ever thought what it might be like to be wrenched from friends, family, career and security - and have to make a new start in another country?
Exile helped us to imagine what that might feel like for ourselves - by supposing a parallel universe in which it was too dangerous for an ordinary Guildford bank manager to remain in a Britain ruled by a repressive regime.
The play was devised with the help of asylum seekers and included some within the cast. It was a rare chance for us to experience this issue from their perspective. The play was premiered at a one-act play festival run by Bench Theatre Company in October 2003, and then went on tour across south-east Hampshire.
A video of the performance was also shown at Christian arts festival Greenbelt in August 2004 to help stimulate discussion about the asylum issue and about how theatre can be used to challenge misconceptions about social issues.
To read a review of Exile, click here.
Top Cat Theatre Company also performed the play for a video which was circulated to secondary schools in seven different LEAs to help raise awareness about the issue during Refugee Week 2004.