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Good Chance will present two Encampment events on the north bank of the Thames this summer. #somersethouse will host The Machine to Be Another, an interactive virtual reality experience that allows users to experience the bodies and memories of volunteer refugees, from 30 July to 7 August, and Encampment Installation, a collection of tents and wooden shelters destined for the Calais Jungle that will stand on Lancaster Place from 30 July to 7 August, as part of UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility – four seasons of events, exhibitions and commissions celebrating the idea of utopia to mark the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s influential text.
Be Another Lab presents The Machine To Be Another As part of ENCAMPMENT AT #somersethouse Saturday 30 July - Sunday 7 August 12pm – 2pm and 4pm – 6pm, daily
What would the world be like if we could see through the eyes of another? The Machine To Be Another is an interactive virtual reality experience designed to explore the relationship between identity and empathy, drawing from knowledge in the areas of neuroscience, storytelling and performance art.
BeAnotherLab presents a series of Embodied Narratives that allow audience members to virtually inhabit the body of another person and experience their perspective of camp life. Hear the stories and step into the shoes of workers, volunteers and refugees around the world to understand more about day to day life in a refugee camp.
For four years BeAnotherLab has been working with an extended community of researchers, artists, activists and members of the public to create performance- experiments related to the understanding of the other and the self. Designed to promote empathy, The Machine To Be Another explores issues such as cultural bias, immigration, physical disability bias, gender identity, generational bonding, conflict resolution and body extension.
Come and experience the story of another person. Good Chance are delighted to welcome BeAnotherLab and the participants of The Good Chance will work with Ben Hamilton, Lucy Yates and A Home For Winter to create an installation of three empty shelters in Lancaster Place, next to #somersethouse. These shelters will be constructed from reclaimed wood and will be sent to Calais after the installation comes to a close. The installation is designed to raise awareness of the terror of displacement and offer an insight into the living conditions for the people in the camps, as well as reminding us of those who have no shelters to go to.
On the other side of the Thames, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown will chair the Nights of Hope panel discussion 'Why Women Refugees are Often Unheard and Unseen', in association with Women for Refugee Women, followed by music from Maya Youssef on 4 August. This discussion will take place in the Good Chance Dome on Festival Terrace at the Southbank Centre.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown came to the UK in 1972 from Uganda, and completed her M.Phil. in literature at Oxford in 1975. She is a journalist who has written for The Guardian, Observer, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, the Evening Standard, The Mail and other newspapers and is now a regular columnist. She is also a radio and television broadcaster and author of several books. Her book, No Place Like Home, was an autobiographical account of a twice removed immigrant. Her prizes and awards include the Commission for Racial Equality special award for outstanding contribution to journalism in 2000, the George Orwell Prize for political journalism in 2002, and an MBE for services to journalism in 2001 (which she returned in 2003).
Good Chance is delighted to announce Cush Jumbo will perform White Rabbit Red Rabbit at Encampment at the Southbank Centre on 7 August.
With no rehearsals, no director and a script waiting in a sealed envelope on stage, internationally acclaimed White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a potent reminder of the transgressive and transformative power of theatre.
Forbidden to leave his native Iran, Nassim Soleimanpour wrote a play that travelled the world in his place. It crossed borders, found refuge in theatres, and was given voice by a host of actors across the world. Since its world premiere in 2011, White Rabbit Red Rabbit has been performed over 1000 times, including by Juliet Stevenson, Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, John Hurt, Simon McBurney, Stephen Rea, Sinead Cusack and Ken Loach.
Cush Jumbo is a writer and performer whose theatre credits include: Taming of The Shrew (The Public Theatre, Broadway), Julius Caeser (The Donmar Warehouse), The River (Square Theatre, Broadway), She Stoops To Conquer (The National Theatre) and Pygmalion (Royal Exchange). Her screen credits include The Good Wife, Vera, Remainder and upcoming City Of Tiny Lights. In November 2013 she was presented with The Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award for her one woman show Josephine and I which was performed at The Bush and then transferred to The Public in New York. In 2013 she was also nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Olivier Award for her portrayal of Marc Anthony in Phyllida Lloyd’s Julius Caesar at The Donmar Warehouse.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Good Chance builds temporary theatres of hope. Founded by two British playwrights, Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, Good Chance established its first temporary theatre space in the heart of the refugee camp in Calais in September 2015. Good Chance Calais was an open and welcoming space promoting freedom of expression, creativity and dignity in a situation where those basic human rights were constantly under threat. The theatre became the civic and cultural centre of the camp, and a powerful voice in the international conversation about the refugee crisis and the nature of our response.
The programme at Good Chance Calais included workshops on writing, performance and music, screened films and staged performances created by refugees and visiting artists including Belarus Free Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, Complicite, Pan Intercultural Arts, the Royal Court, Shared Experience, Theatr Clwyd, Letters Live and Zoukak from Lebanon.
Big communal events which brought all of the camp’s many nationalities together were always popular, from poetry slams, stand-up comedy, acoustic sets, theatre performances, rap battles, film nights and mass chill outs. Alongside the people of the camp, Joe and Joe created The Hope Show, a large-scale review show rounding-up the creative highlights of the week.
The theatre was called Good Chance because on Joe and Joe’s first visit to the camp, they heard people saying ‘good chance’ or ‘no chance’. It meant how likely crossing the border would be that night. The name stuck. The theatre space offered a different kind of good chance.
Good Chance is supported by numerous individuals and organisations including the Young Vic Theatre and David Lan; the Royal Court Theatre, Vicky Featherstone and Elyse Dodgson; Stephen Daldry; Sonia Friedman; Sir Tom Stoppard; Sabrina Guinness; Caryl Churchill; Ian Rickson; David Hare; Jeffrey Culpepper and Susan Witherow.
Good Chance was shortlisted for an Index on Censorship, Freedom of Expression Award in 2016 and is an Associate Company of the Young Vic Theatre.
UTOPIA 2016 is four seasons of activity celebrating the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia. Published in Leuven in December 1516, More’s Utopia presented an imaginative and playful vision of the world as it could be at a time of great change. More’s Utopia is deliberately ambiguous: both “no place” and “good place”, he is clear that many other visions for society are possible. Through a series of exhibitions, events, new commissions, talks and workshops, UTOPIA 2016 will explore the broad cultural history of the idea of utopia and its relevance to 21st-Century cultural, ecological, and social challenges and opportunities. The year celebrates the pivotal role of the arts and culture in creating spaces where utopian dreams are possible. Throughout UTOPIA 2016 people from all walks of life will be invited to experiment with new ways we might live, make, work, play and dream.
UTOPIA 2016 is a collaboration between three neighbours: #somersethouse, King’s College #london and the Courtauld Institute and Gallery, in partnership with the British Library, the AHRC, the British Council, #london School of Economics and Politics, M-Museum in Leuven, Guardian Live and Verso and will also engage many of the 300 plus creative organisations, artists and makers resident at #somersethouse.
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