Thanks to Seemia Theatre, who kindly offered several complimentary tickets, Refugee Survival Trust volunteers and staff had the opportunity to watch Evros: The Crossing River at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The production, in which five actors and actresses played multiple roles, portrayed different experiences of fleeing conflict and having to seek refuge. Through performances as gripping as they were deeply moving, audience members were transported to family homes, war zones, sinking boats, and stark, uninviting offices. The dialogue was interspersed with song, each weaving together the themes of love and loss, hope and despair. These themes were expressed not only in stories of people as they became refugees, but also in feelings; audience members were invited to listen and even participate by reading out the letters of asylum seekers, compelling them to feel. It was a truly powerful production that conveyed the very real human tragedy of the tangled lives of refugees and asylum seekers.
My partner and I were incredibly lucky to have been offered complimentary tickets to see ‘Evros: The Crossing River’ at Summerhall in Edinburgh thanks to their open offer to staff and volunteers at RST. Not knowing quite what to expect, but excited all the same, we took our seats on the day bracing ourselves for what we knew was likely to be an intense and highly personalised emotional journey that reflected the lives of the people RST work with and help support on a daily basis. The show certainly didn’t fail to deliver; through multiple acts and interwoven stories sprinkled with music, song and oration, we were both far from alone in being moved to tears.
It’s often the case that the human stories fall beneath the cracks of looming tabloid headlines and faceless statistics, but productions like Evros go a long, long way into bringing those stories back to light and bringing us face to face with the reality that many people are unfortunately facing. Making us reconnect with the stories behind the statistics goes a long way to helping create the kind of welcoming environment in Scotland that the Refugee Survival Trust, our staff, volunteers, supporters and members can all get behind.
A massive thank you to all the performers and staff behind the production, both our staff and volunteers that made it along got a lot out of it and we wish you all the best of luck in future!
Post by Katharine T. Weatherhead & Alaric Kime