Southside stories performer Catherine Tausney gives her insight into restaging the show in light of the summer’s refugee crisis:
As news hit of our recent success in the Chrysalis competition, an instant feeling of elation and excitement flooded the Young Company as we prepared to perform Southside Stories again at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. After a sell out run in May, as we prepared to look at the script, score, issues and themes once more, we had to consider one major factor. What had changed? And how had we changed since the last time we performed this piece? A play about compassion, community, racism, tolerance, war and division; all strung together with the voices of Govanhill, one of the most diverse communities in all of Europe. We knew that in light of the tragic drowning of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi that shook the world on a personal level to wake up to the sheer desperation of the recent migrant crisis, that this play was now more important than ever as it connects us to the massive surge of immigrants in a deep and personal level and to highlight the humanity in their daily struggles, rather than portraying them as an overwhelming swarm here to take over our jobs and our community.
Southside Stories is a thrilling, dramatic and invigorating piece of verbatim theatre that shows the human ability to overcome the challenges of immigration in face of adversity and prejudice. As the performance date draws nearer and preparations begin to take place for we return to rehearsals refreshed and ready with a new perspective of just how crucial our message is as we prepare to take Southside Stories to the stage once again.