Lady – Led Season Continues With 'Same Same'
fanSHEN and OVALHOUSE Presents:
By Shireen Mula
Directed by Dan Barnard and Rachel Briscoe for fanSHEN
22 November – 10 December, Tues – Sat 8pm
Previews: 22 & 23 November
BSL Described 8 December, Audio Described 9 December.
Mixed race Britain brought to stage in unique new theatre production
An ambitious new play, which explores the hitherto invisible mixed race experience, opens next month as the culmination of Ovalhouse's autumn season. Same Same is a structurally innovative journey through alternative realities and complex identities; a lyrical story of regret, longing and mixed-race identity set in a dark recess of contemporary London
It is written by young mixed race playwright Shireen Mula who was discovered through the Royal Court's "Unheard Voices" programme for young playwrights of muslim descent, and who has been described by Mike Bartlett as "one of the most exciting writers around right now and a very important writer for the future".
Mula, who describes herself as a 'third culture kid', was born in Galway, Ireland to an Irish mother and Mauritian father, lived much of her childhood in Saudi Arabia and has spent most of her adult life in London.
Same Same is the story of a young woman on the eve of her 21st birthday. Adopted and mixed race, Asha is on a continuing journey to work out who she is. Somewhere else in the same city a British-Indian woman, Nid, is reflecting on the decision she made when she was 21 – a decision that would have an irrevocable effect on the lives of these two women.
The production is brought to the stage by theatre company fanSHEN who received the Young Angels Theatremakers award in 2010. Starring actresses Bharti Patel and Zoe Nicole as the lead characters, with Joseph Radcliffe in a supporting role, Same Same is a lyrical exploration of what is, what was and what could have been through the minds of two women who are strangers, and yet whose past, present and future are inextricably entwined.
Speaking about the unusual structure of the play, Director, Rachel Briscoe says: "The structure of Same Same is fractured to mirror the issues within the story – Asha's attempts to construct something concrete from the little information she has about her heritage. Same Same is a play about subjective realities: what is imagined is far more powerful than anything that could happen in the real world. The non-naturalistic staging of the play and the way we use sound and light will guide the audience through the play's intricate interweaving narratives."
Speaking of the relevance of staging this production now Briscoe adds:
"It is ten years since the "mixed race" category appeared on the census. It is now the fastest growing ethnic group in the UK. Almost 10 per cent of children in the UK live in a family which describes itself as mixed race and yet this demographic is still practically invisible on stage and screen where representations of diversity most often manifest in neat communities of black, white or Asian people; the reality is far more complex. While the BBC's ongoing Mixed Race Britain season has started to redress this invisibility on screen, Same Same explodes these issues onstage: a live lyrical journey through the nuances of Asha's identity."
Box office: 020 7582 7680
Online sales: www.ovalhouse.com (no fee)
Venue: Ovalhouse Theatre, Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SW.
Transport: Oval Tube, Northern Line (one-minute walk). Vauxhall Tube, Victoria Line & British Rail (Fifteen -minute walk). Buses 3, 36, 59, 133, 155, 159, 185, 436
Access: Induction Loop. Please note that unfortunately the upstairs Theatre is not wheelchair accessible.
Car park: For disabled visitors only, free on-street parking after 6.30pm. (We are not in the Congestion Charge area).
Ticket Prices: Adult: £14, Equity, BECTU, Under 26: £10, Concessions (Over 65, Student, Blue badge, disabled, unwaged): £7
Cast: Bharti Patel, Zoe Nicole and Joseph Radcliffe
Creative team and crew: Directed By Rachel Briscoe and Dan Barnard; Lighting Design by Michael Nabarro; Composition by Richard Hammarton.
fanSHEN: Tells stories of real people exploring big questions. We seek to challenge, confound and surprise.
Founded in 2005, fanSHEN makes work which combines psychologically nuanced performances with dynamic visual aesthetics. fanSHEN is led by creative directors Dan Barnard and Rachel Briscoe. For fanSHEN, Dan and Rachel have co-directed Fixer (Ovalhouse), Blowing (national tour), Moshing Lying Down (Shunt, PULSE, festivals tour) and Shooting Rats (Lilian Baylis site). Dan directed Meetings (Arcola) and Rachel directed Full Circle (Ovalhouse).