PREVIEW: Open Clasp’s The Space Between Us, Arts Centre Washington

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Arts Centre Washington will host renowned women’s theatre company Open Clasp with their new production The Space between Us next week.

 The Space Between Us is a fast-paced, dramatic story that invites audiences into a world that is full of conflict, love and hope.

 The North East of England is in the grip of a storm on a biblical scale. Three months of rainfall in one day, roads closed, rivers bursting their banks and the region submerged under water.

 Blown from four corners of the earth, four women seek sanctuary, security and refuge.

 However, all is not as it should be and the women find themselves in a battle, not only with the rising tide and with each other, but with humanity itself.

 Writer Catrina McHugh has worked directly with women in the North East to produce The Space Between Us. “I have had the honour to work with women who are Czech/Roma, Slovak/Roma, travellers, women seeking asylum, those who are refused and experiencing destitution, Arabic women, from Libya, Syria and Kuwait, 116 women from over 22 countries now living in the North East,” she said.

 “Using drama techniques, and one-to-one interviews, the women shared their stories, views and opinions. While I got to grips with the detail of the women’s lives, their journeys and experiences, I also wanted to look at the bigger picture.  I wanted to understand why 43 million people are displaced in the world, why one billion women will experience violence.”

She added: “This play is a testament to the strength and courage shown when people are faced with the challenges of inequality, injustice and humiliation. The Space Between Us is for all the displaced people, both men and women who are making history but not of their choosing.”

 Two of the actors in the production have firsthand experience of the subject matter that is 
explored.

 Joana, originally from Angola, who plays Zeyna, sought political asylum in the UK with her one-year-old son in 2003 for political reasons and both are now fully fledged British Citizens.

 Ioana, who plays Eyshan, fled as a refugee from Romania to the Netherlands with her family at the age of 10. Ioana has grown up with a political awareness so the issues in The Space Between Us have a particular relevance to her.

l The Space Between Us is suitable for ages 13-years-old and over and is at Arts Centre in Washington on Thursday, April, 11 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8.50 / £6 (conc) and are available from www.artscentrewashington.co.uk or by from Tel. 219 
3455.