INVISIBLE is a funny, moving, highly visual and urgent exploration of 21st Century mobility written by Croatia’s leading young playwright Tena Štivičić.
Anton is forced to leave his village and finds himself 16 floors above a city cleaning windows, Malik’s on a beach looking towards a country where women walk around half naked – apparently, Dialo’s learning tabloid English, Ann just isn’t ready to have a baby and Felix falls for a beautiful migrant woman in a nightclub, he doesn’t see the cleaner that everyone else sees but then she said she was a fashion designer. This chance meeting between a middle class British man and an eastern European cleaner and a shocking twist drives disparate lives towards a terrible moment of reckoning. When did it all start… 80,000 years ago when we first left Africa?
“I was up on the 16th floor. I thought, if I unhooked my
belt, if I fell, would these people notice? Would they stop?
Would anyone miss me?”
In 2008 Transport received a small grant from Arts Council England to initiate the development of a new project following their acclaimed revival of David Greig’s EUROPE (Barbican/Dundee Rep.). This grant facilitated research that involved discussions with a number of NGOs who work with immigrants, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in the UK as well as workshops in Poland and Lithuania.
This culminated in a research and development period at the National Theatre Studio in 2009 where Transport worked with Tena Štivičić, award winning choreographer Darren Johnston, dramaturg Synne Berndt and over 20 performers.
With the financial support of the New Wolsey Theatre, Transport commissioned Tena to develop a script to form the basis of the project. INVISIBLE received a reading at the Ipswich PULSE10 Festival and the National Theatre Studio, London in May 2010 with a cast that included the distinguished actor Douglas Henshall. Continuing research incorporated workshops with immigrant communities, visits to detention centers in the UK and refugee camps in Calais, and discussions with the Red Cross.
The final co-production will offer audiences a stunning contemporary, multi-narrative, highly visual, physical and urgent piece of theatre directed by TRANSPORT’s artistic director and Complicite associate Douglas Rintoul.
INVISIBLE is a multi-narrative play that criss-crosses the globe following a handful of souls looking for a better life. They come to feel as if they exist in a dream, but it’s not their own. Disparate lives become dangerously intertwined, driving them towards a cataclysmic moment of reckoning. An innovative fusion of new writing and movement, immediate and fragmentary narratives are pieced together to create a snapshot of the 21st Century. INVISIBLE asks the question how we define ourselves within the fluid landscape of a globalised world? Through intimate and moving domestic narratives INVISIBLE also provokes its audiences to abandon their preconceptions about migrants and to identify their own experiences that link them directly to those of the people who may appear to be invisible… that we don’t necessarily see.
TRANSPORT received a major grant from the European Cultural Foundation to realise the piece and the project is also funded by Arts Council England and is supported by the Jerwood Space, Complicite and The University of Winchester.
Tickets can be booked by calling the New Wolsey Box Office on 01473 295900 and online at www.wolseytheatre.co.uk
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich – Thu 13 to Sat 15 October at 7.45pm / Matinee: Sat at 2.30pm