Launch of five new human rights plays through 'new writing programme'

Amnesty International and iceandfire are to present the top choices from entries to this year’s international human rights playwriting competition.
 
‘Everyone has the Right’ is iceandfire’s New Writing competition encouraging human rights writing. This year, the programme received hundreds of scripts from writers all over the world and the most compelling will be presented at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre in Shoreditch this autumn.
 
Launched in 2008 as ‘Protect the Human’, the competition attracted over 500 plays that dealt with issues as far ranging as the right to life, Iraq war and sex tourism. Shortlisted plays were given rehearsed readings at the Soho Theatre, with winning plays also receiving platforms at the Finborough Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, and Theatre Royal Plymouth.
 
This year’s line up includes:
 
“28” by Dawn King
Tues 26th October, 7:30pm
Nathan is a schoolteacher, suspected of a connection with a known terrorist.  He is detained for 28 days without charge.  A terrifying account of how any one of us could fall victim to the changed laws of our land.  .
 
“Pyramus and Thisbe” by David Watson
Tues 26th October, 7:30pm
A humorous and heartbreaking short play, depicting the eternal myth of star-crossed lovers separated by a wall.  David Watson is currently under commission at Birmingham Rep and the Royal Court. He is also the Pearson Playwright in Residence at the Lyric Hammersmith, and his play Pieces of Vincent opened at the Arcola in September
 
“The Advocate” by Laura Quigley
Tues 2nd November, 7:30pm
A powerful love story set against the background of the brutalities of the English Civil War.  A fascinating and poetic insight into the historical perspective on human rights. Directed Suba Das.
 
“Las Brutas” by Juan Radrigan, translated by Catherine Boyle
Tues 9th Nov, 7:30pm
Based on the true story of three Coia (indigenous Andean) sisters who, in October 1974, were found tied together and hung from a rock near their home. Their dogs were hung with them, while their sheep and goats were found slaughtered. The play imagines the last months in these Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s lives in the isolated mountainside of Pinochet’s Chile.
 
“The Archbishop and the Antichrist” by Michael Ashton
Tues 16th Nov, 7:30pm  
In 1996, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu was presiding over the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, attempting to heal a fractured South Africa.  This play creates two (fictional) weeks in Tutu’s life as he confronts the nightmares of the apartheid era and comes face to face with a mass-murder.
 
"[It’s] Not about lecturing but about sowing the seeds for powerful theatre that grapples with necessary issues; it reminds people there are things we need to think about and talk about.” The Guardian (on Protect the Human, 2008).
 
Interviews are available upon request
 
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
 
Event details
Dates: Tuesdays 26 Oct | 2 Nov | 9 Nov |16 Nov 2010, 7.30pm
Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre, Shoreditch, EC2A 3EA
Entry: Free but booking is essential. www.amnesty.org.uk/events
 
iceandfire explores human rights stories through performance. A theatre company with a distinct, contemporary voice, they create work of excellence across four work strands: production, outreach, education and participation.
www.iceandfire.co.uk.

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