I don't go to see many plays but I like live performances of most kinds and tonight's was great. It was performed by a group of Manchester-based women asylum-seekers and written by Lydia, who is currently threatend by deportation. Her case is here..
Their group is called WAST (Women Asylum Seekers Together)and they got together to try and combat the stressful isolation and humiliation of being an asylum-seeker in this country. Although from different countries, they have a shared understanding of what it is like to have left family and homeland behind out of fear and persecution and what it's like to face daily harrassment and mistrust as a result of fleeing their countries. Most have to travel to 'sign in' each week at Dallas Court - some have been doing this for 7 years! They never know if they will come out of that building by the front door or whether they will be removed by the back gate, and onto a plane. It's hard to imagine living with that kind of uncertainty.
They are not allowed to work and live off vouchers worth £35 a week. Anyway, to see this feisty, cheerful and mutually supportive group creating something lovely on stage, was wonderful. The singing was beautiful. The theatre was packed. I had a good night :-)