Good Chance Announces New Season Lineup
Almost four years since Good Chance built its first 'Theatre of Hope' in the Calais Jungle camp and began its ground-breaking international programme of work with artists from refugee backgrounds, the award-winning charity is delighted to announce a season of programmes and performances across summer and autumn 2019 in the UK and France. Highlights include:
Saturday 22 June: Dome in a Day, Good Chance pop-up during Refugee Week in Coventry's Millennium Place as part of Coventry Welcomes Festival 2019;
the world premiere of powerful new writing from Good Chance's Coventry-based Change the Word collective at Dome in a Day;
the London roll-out of its creative writing programme, Change the Word, in autumn 2019;
launch of the Good Chance Apprenticeship Programme and Social Programme;
performances from the Paris-based Good Chance Ensemble, La Troupe, in Reims, Saint Denis and Paris this June;
the continuation of Good Chance's partnership with the International Fashion Academy (IFA) in Paris and the introduction of 10 professional scholarships for people from refugee backgrounds, alongside a project for refugee children designing a spacesuit for NASA;
and the launch of a creative workshop programme for women and children at Les Cinq Toits and Le Bastion de Bercy, two dedicated refugee welcome centres in Paris this July, with a longer-term residency from autumn 2019.
Good Chance was founded in September 2015 by playwrights Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, creators of the multi-award-winning play, The Jungle, which was based on their experiences living and running a theatre in the vast but unofficial refugee and migrant camp in Calais.
Alongside the international success of the stage production, which to date has played to more than 130,000 people in London, New York, and most recently in San Francisco, with further dates to be announced, Good Chance has continued to grow its artistic offer to connect people, stories and cultures, empowering artists from across the world to share global stories to international audiences.
Four years since it first began, Good Chance delivers work in three core programme strands: Good Chance Theatres - temporary 'Theatres of Hope' built in the form of large geodesic domes, in areas with high refugee populations with the aim to create meaningful opportunities for immigrant and local communities to engage through art; Good Chance Productions - writing, creating and producing ground-breaking work with artists from across the world to provide a professional platform and context for previously untold stories of global relevance; Good Chance Ensemble - working with a collective of artists across the world Good Chance supports a new generation of creators to develop professionally and artistically through participation in its theatre domes and productions and in other collaborative projects.
Good Chance founders, Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson said: "Since Good Chance began in the Calais Jungle four years ago, we have existed to provide fast injections of art and hope in the most difficult of circumstances. As those circumstances have evolved, so has our work, and we are proud to support incredible artists from around the world as they hone and develop their art, and speak with powerful and important voices about the world we inhabit together. In an increasingly atomised and dangerous world, spaces dedicated to welcome and expression, which do not shy away from the challenges and opportunities of living together, are more essential than ever".
Dome in a Day: One dome, one day, a world of possibilities
Date: Saturday 22 June 2019
Time: 11 am until late
Location: Millennium Place (outside the Transport Museum), Hales Street, Coventry
Find out more: www.goodchance.org.uk/coventry
Watch the trailer here
Dome in a Day is a free day-long arts extravaganza in Millennium Place as part of the Coventry Welcomes Festival on Saturday 22 June.
Originally built in Calais, the Good Chance dome hasn't been seen in the UK since summer 2016, when it popped up on London's Southbank for nine days and nights with Encampment, a festival of performances, workshops and discussions. It has since found its home in Paris and New York and will now rise again in the centre of Coventry; the first time the theatre has ever been mounted for one day only!
Good Chance's big dome is a welcoming space for new connections, conversations and creations and Dome in a Day is an invitation to everyone to build a new global community in just 24 hours.
Uniting local and International Artists, an uplifting day-long programme has been curated by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, founders of Good Chance and writers of the multi-award-winning play, The Jungle. This multi-disciplinary, participatory programme has been devised just as it was in the original 'Theatre of Hope' in Calais, and many of the artist friends Good Chance first met in the Jungle camp feature in the Dome in a Day line-up. Highlights include:
Puppetry from Beirut theatre-makers, Kahraba Collective;
performance from Broadway and West End star, Asmeret Ghebremichael (Dreamgirls, Legally Blonde, The Book of Mormon);
Iranian Kung Fu workshop with Yasin Moradi (The Jungle);
physical theatre workshop with Coventry collective, Highly Sprung;
captivating live music from Mohamed Sarrar, one of the founding members of Sounds of Refuge, a collective who fuse Zimbabwean, Sudanese and Syrian music, spoken word and poetry;
circus skills showcase from Ethiopian actor, Girum Bekele (The Jungle);
live illustration from Iranian digital artist, Majid Adin, creator of the music video for Elton John's Rocket Man, inspired by his experiences as a refugee, which premiered in Cannes in 2017 and has since been viewed by more than 38 million people worldwide;
and the world premiere performance from Good Chance's Coventry-based Change the Word collective.
Dome in a Day is run by Good Chance in collaboration with Coventry City of Culture.
Change the Word
World premiere performance and book launch on Saturday 22 June from 7-8pm at Dome in a Day
In March 2019, Good Chance launched its first creative writing programme in partnership with and supported by Coventry City of Culture for local residents and people recently arrived in the city.
Poetry, storytelling and theatre workshops led by Coventry-based Zimbabwean poet and visual artist Laura Nyahuye and Good Chance Resident Artist Connie Treves, brought together twenty people from 13 different countries: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Eritrea, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Pakistan, Singapore, the UK, USA and Zimbabwe.
Weekly workshops were punctuated with masterclasses from internationally-renowned poets, performers and illustrators, including Inua Ellams and Majid Adin.
On Saturday 22 June, Change the Word will put their globe-spanning, bold new writing centre-stage in the world premiere performance at Dome in a Day.
An anthology of these stories and poems, with accompanying illustrations by Majid Adin, will also go on-sale on 22 June with all profits going to Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre's Destitution Fund: https://www.goodchance.org.uk/shop
Change the Word will have its London roll-out in autumn 2019. Further details to be announced. www.goodchance.org.uk/changetheword
Launch of the Good Chance Apprenticeship Programme and Social Programme
2019 also sees the launch of Good Chance's professional skills development and work experience programme for young refugees aged 17 to 24. Refugees often face barriers to employment and training and are often underemployed and/or receive low rates of pay. The unemployment rate for refugees is 70% whereas the UK national average is 4%. Each Good Chance Apprentice will join a paid three-month programme allowing them to gain experience in all aspects of theatre-making: including writing, directing, producing, fundraising, digital marketing and administration, with the aim to support routes to professional employment through building skills, experience and networks, as well as driving greater diversity within the sector.
In recognition of the fact that many newly-arrived people to a country struggle to find the social contacts and experiences that are the cornerstone of creating a new life, Good Chance will roll-out its first Social Club taking a line from The Jungle play to its heart: "when does a place become a home?".
Four years since it was founded, Good Chance now has an engaged and enthusiastic group of 100 volunteers in the UK who have worked with the charity in Calais or in Paris and are now keen to continue to engage with refugees in the UK. They will form the core volunteer network for the roll-out of Good Chance's Social Club, a group who will support newly-arrived people to the UK on arts-focused social outings: to theatres, galleries and other arts events. Launching initially in London, the Social Club has been developed in partnership with Refugee Action, who will offer expertise in training and networks.
For further information on Good Chance's Apprenticeship Programme and Social Programme, please visit: www.goodchance.org.uk/volunteer
Good Chance have been working in Paris since spring 2017, devising and running artistic residencies to unite Parisians and local artists with refugees across the city: from La Station Gare des Mines in Porte d'Aubervilliers, to "La Bulle", the original refugee welcome centre in Porte de la Chapelle run by Emmaüs Solidarité, to the Jean Quarré Emergency Housing Unit in Place des Fêtes, to the Théâtre de la Ville on the Champs-Elysées and most recently at the National Museum of the History of Immigration in the south-east of the city.
La Troupe performances in Reims, Saint Denis and Paris
Across three years, a passionate and talented ensemble of performers has emerged: Malang, Mohammad, Arafat, Souleyman, Cemil, Michal, Zakaria are La Troupe! the Good Chance Ensemble in Paris. Biweekly rehearsals run by refugees and artists are currently preparing for performances in:
Reims at CultureLab Festival (9 June);
Saint-Denis at Au Landy Sauvage, 16 June)
Saint-Denis at Place de L'Abbée Grégoire (29 June)
Paris at Le Vent se Lève (30 June)
Saint-Denis at l'Espace Imaginaire (13 July)
International Fashion Academy partnership
Good Chance first partnered with the International Fashion Academy (IFA) in Paris in spring 2018 on The Hope Walk, a fashion extravaganza in the capital of haute couture, that saw the dome transformed into a technicolour catwalk as students and Good Chance participants collaborated on a showcase of new fashion creations.
During the atelier (creation) phase of The Hope Walk, a number of truly original talents emerged and IFA and Good Chance launched a scholarship programme offering places to ten outstanding new designers from refugee backgrounds.
Alongside the adult scholarship programme, a design project began last month with refugee children from the Aurore Association's Les Cinq Toits welcome centre. The project, entitled Sky and Space and sponsored by the Space for Art Foundation, which was founded by astronaut Nicole Stott and the artist Maria Lanas, invited young people to design a spacesuit for a NASA astronaut. Paris workshops were led by Beaux-Arts graduates, Nathanaelle Herbelin and Pablo Cots, in a collaboration between Good Chance and IFA.
New residencies this summer
This summer, Good Chance will embark on a new artistic residency at Les Cinq Toits and Le Bastion de Bercy, two dedicated refugee welcome centres run by the Aurore Association. Beginning with daily creative arts workshops for women and children in the small dome, Good Chance will broaden out the programme to include activities for adults as part of a lon