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Good Chance Theatre Announces Next Project: THE WALK

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Taking place in April-July 2021, this global public art event will see a puppet called Amal travelling 8,000km across Turkey and Europe

Good Chance Theatre Announces Next Project: THE WALK

Following the international success of The Jungle, Good Chance Theatre - in association with the world-famous creators of War Horse puppets, Handspring Puppet Company - have announced their next project, entitled The Walk.

Taking place between April-July 2021, The Walk will be a global public art event that will see a 3.5m tall puppet called Amal travelling 8,000km across Turkey and Europe. The project aims to highlight the plight of refugees and the trauma they face, as Amal becomes an emblem of the millions of displaced refugee children.

The puppet Amal is a nine-year-old Syrian refugee who's been forced to leave her home and is in search of her mother. With the help of her puppeteers, she will visit over 70 cities, towns and villages across the world. Starting at the Turkish-Syrian border, she will head to Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and France to reach the UK, before ending her journey at the Manchester International Festival.

Along the way, a fundraising campaign will be taking place with The Step Up Appeal. They are asking people to support Little Amal, the artistic and education programmes of The Walk and the crucial work being done to raise awareness of the crisis and advocate for young refugees to have access to an education. Each £1 which is donated will get Amal one step closer to her goal.

Good Chance Theatre Announces Next Project: THE WALKThe project's artistic director, Amir Nizar Zuabi, explains: "The attention of the world is elsewhere right now, which makes it more important than ever to reignite the conversation about the refugee crisis and to change the narrative around it. Yes, refugees need food and blankets, but they also need dignity and a voice.

"The purpose of The Walk is to highlight the potential of the refugee, not just their dire circumstances. Little Amal is 3.5 metres tall because we want her to inspire us to think big and to act bigger."

On her journey, Amal will be greeted by partnering theatres and organisations and take part in a variety of events - from learning traditional folk dances in Turkey and creating ribbon roads to stop her getting lost in Athens, to powerful outdoor installations in Italy which will feature powerful paintings of war-torn Syria that Amal is fleeing projected onto buildings. She will reach the UK on the 22 June, first appeared in Folkestone, then celebrating her 10th birthday in London before being welcomed in Manchester by a large-scale outdoor participatory event as part of Manchester International Festival 2021.

Before, during and after her journey, Amal will also be connecting with young people from refugee and non-refugee communities through creative learning projects, developed specifically for each location.

A Lands in Exile programme will also see acclaimed Syrian artists create public art installations for many of the stops on Amal's route. These works will reflect on the theme of exile, inviting audiences to think about what we mean by 'home'. An education programme will run in tandem with The Walk's artistic events in addition.

Good Chance Theatre Announces Next Project: THE WALKStephen Daldry, producer of The Walk, said about the project: "Little Amal's story transcends borders and language to highlight the challenges that refugee children face, challenges that are even more pressing during this pandemic.

"But she is also a figure of great hope. At times like these, we need art more than we ever have, so I very much look forward to thousands of people across the world being able to follow Little Amal's dramatic journey across Europe in search of her mother."

Talking about her involvement in the project, producer Tracey Seaward said: "Over five years ago, Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy invited me to join them in the refugee camp in Calais. Since then ,the plight of refugees has escalated and will continue to do so. The journey of Little Amal will, I hope, help unite communities and bring attention to the valuable and most positive contribution our refugee friends have made and continue to make."

Every step of Amal's journey will also be shared online, and audiences across the world are invited to take part and spread the world of Amal.

David Lan, producer of The Walk, is aware of the ambitious nature of the project and said: "Every show I've produced has been preparation for producing The Walk. We've long believed that artists, grass roots communities and civic society leaders should come together to make art that matters in the real world. The Walk is that coming together."

The Walk starts on 30 March 2021 in Turkey. You can keep up to date with the Amal's journey and find out more on www.walkwithamal.org

Photo credits: Nick Wall


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