Home - The Last Refuge, Peckham
Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle
VIK Sivalingam and E. Craveri are presenting the UK premiere of Samm Art Williams’ Home at The Last Refuge, Peckham – from October 30 to November 17, 2012.
Peckham’s status as an emerging arts hub continues with the inaugural season of The Last Refuge, showcasing a heady mix of plays and new devised work in its large, atmospheric warehouse space.
A great dramatist of the African-American experience, Samm Art Williams’ Home spans some of American history’s most important social and political struggles, from the domestic Civil Rights Movement to the Vietnam War, where the alleged misuse of African American troops caused leaders and critics to describe it as racist: “a white man’s war, a black man’s fight.”
Cephus Miles loves “the land, the soft beautiful black sod,” and after the deaths of the grandfather and uncle who reared him, it is in the land that he finds solace. However trouble comes quickly beginning with the loss of his childhood sweetheart to another man, being jailed as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War and losing his farm to taxes.
Cephus travels north to escape but his past catches up with him sending his life spiraling downward, finally ending with him living rough on the city streets. Will God who’s “on vacation in Miami” ever take pity on him?
Vik Sivalingam directs a cast that comprises Joel Trill (as Cephus Miles), Pearl Mackie (Woman 1/Patti Mae) and Shvorne Marks (Woman 2/Myrna).
Vik Sivalingam’s recent directing credits include Ed Reid – Living The Dream (Edinburgh Fringe 2012 and Scottish Tour), The Marriage of Bette & Boo (Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham), Circles (Arcola and Tricycle Theatres), Roll On The Day (Etcetera Theatre), Invisible Man (Park Avenue Armory, NYC), The Bullet (RSC at Hampstead Theatre) and Once on This Island (Cockpit Theatre).
Tony Award nominated playwright and stage, film and TV actor Samm Art Williams was born on January 20, 1946 in Burgaw, North Carolina. His other plays for theatre include The Montford Point Marine, The Dance on Widows Row, The Waiting Room, Cork, Eve of the Trial, Eyes of the American, Brass Birds Don’t Sing and A Love Play.
He is also the author of the book for the musical Bojangles and contributor to the book for the musical Sophisticated Ladies. Aside from playwriting, he was twice nominated for Emmy Awards for his television work, and was once a sparring partner of Muhammed Ali.
The Last Refuge is a new theatre giving companies rehearsal and performance space free of charge in the strong belief that companies should not have to pay to play.
Founded by all female team Rania Jumaily (Artistic Director), Laura Crampsie (Creative Director/Executive Producer), Lydia Scott (Creative Producer), Francesca Stuttle (Venue Director) and Alexandra Martinelli (Music Events Manager), the venue has so far hosted Furious Theatre’s production of Nicola Baldwin’s Confetti, Inua Ellams’ Knight Watch and Trevor Griffiths’ All Good Men.
The busy first season also includes runs of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (until October 10), and Ron Hitchinson’s Beyond Beauty (November 27 to December 15) alongside shorter visits from Hywel John’s Joe/Boy (October 23 to October 28), The 33 Collective’s The 10-33 Project (November 20 to November 22), Yannis Critsos’s Phaedre (November 23 to November 25) and The International Rainbows’ Una (December 20 to December 22).
Tickets: £12, £8 concessions – available from the box office on 020 8127 6671 or online at www.thelastrefuge.co.uk.
Times: Tuesdy to Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 4pm.