From baking African deserts to the snow angels of a UK winter, this emotional and heartfelt story of migration reveals one girl’s hopeful flight into a new life.
Two very different characters find common ground within the poetry of the streets, and the audience becomes the prized confidante on a young girl’s journey, where each step towards security is fraught with danger, prejudice and the unknown.
Map of Me explored how a displaced child finds a sense of self and belonging, in a moving and uplifting show that was written from real-life experiences of young asylum seekers. It tells the story of a young girl fleeing war in her homeland as she seeks safety, identity and a place to call home.
Map of Me featured prize-winning poets and performers Azfa Awad and Rosemary Harris. It was the third work in the Suitcase Trilogy of spoken word performances about migration for young audiences, developed by Papertale in association with Half Moon Theatre.
A Papertale production which toured nationally as part of Half Moon Presents.
Spoken word artist Rosemary Harris talks about how the Half Moon Theatre audience in Tower Hamlets have responded to Map of Me, the third in her trilogy of work about child migration, produced in collaboration with the Half Moon as part of Half Moon Presents.
Rosemary Harris describes the type of work she has been able to develop with Half Moon and why she sees it as a unique collaboration.
Rosemary Harris has developed four plays with Half Moon in the period between 2010 and 2016. Here she talks about how useful the Careers in Theatre project has been in helping her to develop new work. Interviewed by Beccy Allen.
“Very moving and thought provoking”
Slough Refugee Support Service (Feb 2016)
“You captured a very emotional and thought-provoking issue and expressed it fantastically.”
Audience member, aged 15
“It was really eye-opening and entertaining because it went against stereotypes and showed deeper meaning. Thank you! It was very fabulous.”
Audience member, aged 14
“It was very powerful, flowed perfectly. Thank you for allowing me to watch this brilliant performance.”
Audience member, aged 14
Tell us a little about Map of Me, what can we expect?
You can expect to be moved, entertained, and taken into a world of real-life experience that is real and rewarding, with a main character who becomes your friend, sharing her story with you. You can also expect to hear a refugee story that takes you behind the headlines.
It’s billed as a spoken word drama, what does this mean?
A spoken word performance, sometimes called live literature, is a show that definitely doesn’t sound like the dialogue in EastEnders! It’s a performance that uses words in all sort of creative, playful and poetic ways to tell the story, and where the words are what count most of all. If you love lyrics, poetry, or other ways of using words like music, as well as a compelling story of course, you’ll love this.
You’re the lead writer in the show and also perform in it. Does the ‘writer you’ ever have a disagreement with the ‘performer you’?
Spoken words artists are writers and poets who write their work to be performed, so unlike actors working with a script (usually written by somebody else) we tend not to separate out the ‘writer’ and ‘performer’ roles. Creating the show is a process where both elements are in your thoughts the whole time. Only occasionally will we have to edit something out because although the words are great, they are not working in driving the story forward. That can be painful! But mostly it’s a seamless process of working both roles.
Tell us a little about your character.
There are two characters, an immigration officer and a young asylum seeker, who both have their assumptions and prejudices about each other challenged, finding a human connection in a tough situation.
What was the inspiration for the show?
The real-life stories of young asylum seekers.
What does the title refer to?
The journeys we all go on to get where we are can be read as a map of ourselves, not only of the paths we take but of our identities in how we respond to what happens to us and others.
What would you say are the challenges of the Map of Me?
Taking a sensitive and challenging story and making it entertaining and still uplifting.
So what can audiences look forward to?
Truth, beauty and finely crafted words.
Why should people come and see the show?
Because it’s really good! And because it will give them further insight into one of the most pressing issues of our time, and into universal issues such as a sense of identity and belonging, which we all have to deal with, wherever we come from and whoever we are.
What would you like people to take with them after seeing the show?
A sense that they’ve opened their minds, ears, eyes and heart to a powerful true story.