Preview by Paul Nelson
MAKING a welcome return to the Finborough Theatre, Sonja
Linden and Drew Ackroyd are combining their talents to present
a new play by the former, I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document
Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda.
The play charts the bittersweet relationship between a young
Rwandan woman and a British poet as he tries to help her write
out her story. Humorous, touching and at times disturbing, the
play was inspired by the real life experiences of young Rwandan
refugees in the UK.
I Have Before Me
marks a welcome return to the Finborough
Theatre for both playwright, Linden, and director, Ackroyd.
Award-winning playwright, Sonja Linden's play, Call Me Judas,
was presented at the Finborough Theatre in 1995, in the same season
as Mark Ravenhill's Shopping and F***cing and Naomi Wallace's
Her plays have been produced in London and in regional theatres
in the UK, as well as in the United States and Australia. She
won a Fringe First in Edinburgh for her play Present Continuous,
and a Time Out Award for Now and At The Hour of Our Death.
The play will be directed by Drew Ackroyd, whose credits include
last year's hugely successful UK premiere production of Larry
Kramer's The Destiny of Me.
I Have Before Me
was inspired by Sonja Linden's
encounters with a number of young Rwandan refugees at the Medical
Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, where she has been
writer-in-residence since 1997.
Here she set up the Write to Life Project, a creative and testimonial
writing programme offering clients of the Foundation the opportunity
to discharge their painful experiences of persecution and exile
through the act of writing.
Her concern to make these voices public led to her recent founding
of the theatre company, iceandfire. Born out of the urgent need
to give a platform to dispossessed voices, this production marks
the launch of the company.
The play was a sell-out during Oxford Africa Week Festival 2002,
where it played nightly to hugely enthusiastic houses:
"You will be fortunate to get a ticket to see this remarkable
piece. This is a political play in the quietest and most affecting
way, where the personal is political - and brought to life with
great care." The Oxford Times.
I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to me by a Young
Lady From Rwanda, by Sonja Linden, Directed by Drew Ackroyd, Designed
by Nicholaos Zavaliaris, Lighting by Sven Ortel, Sound by Jane
Watkins. WITH: Doreene Blackstock, Andrew Hawkins. Produced by
iceandfire at the Finborough Theatre, The Finborough, 118 Finborough
Road, London SW10 (Five minutes from Earl's Court Underground
and West Brompton Underground and National Rail) Tuesday to Saturday
June 17 to July 12 at 7.30pm, Sunday matinees at 3.30pm. Tickets
020 7373 3842.
Please note that the Finborough Arms Pub has now been renamed