Thursday 17 June 2021 - Sunday 20 June 2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tamasha Theatre Company
From a history of turbulence and civil war, the Balkans is a region waking up to the opportunities of independence, with youthful and creative populations creating a vibrant present. Travel restrictions have limited the possibilities for citizens in the region to live and work in the rest of Europe. But art and cultural festivals are flourishing and Balkan writers have tales to tell about the past, present and future.
Out Of The Woods is the latest development, riding the wave of the podcast revolution to bring Balkan stories to a wider audience, online. These fresh, funny and provocative new audio dramas showcase a new generation of writers from a region carving out its own identity, and eager to tell its own stories.
Out Of The Woods premieres as part of Counterpoints Arts’ Refugee Week programme as a series of ‘gathered listening’ events via Zoom. These plays represent the first tranche of an ongoing initiative to use independent audio drama to bring contemporary Kosovan and Balkan stories to the world.
Please note the event on 20th June has an earlier start time (17:00 to 18:30).
On Kosovo Field by Fin Kennedy (Thurs 17 June 7pm-9pm)
This 75-minute drama tells the story of two Kosovan-born, Manchester-raised siblings, Dardan and Rebeka, who fled their homeland as unaccompanied child refugees in the 1990s. When a mass grave is uncovered close to their old village, they return to the country for the first time as young adults, to see if they can finally solve the mystery of what happened to their parents. Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4, On Kosovo Field features original songs by PJ Harvey, whose travels and notebooks from time spent in Kosovo inspired writer Fin Kennedy to follow in her footsteps. Kennedy donated his fee from the project to fund new work by new writers from the region, which directly led to the Out Of The Woods audio dramas.
Tom is a one-time popular musician who is now making radio jingles for a living. He wants to join his German wife and daughter, who have left the UK after it has become a hostile environment for non-English people. But when Tom is commissioned by the government to write a new national anthem, he becomes trapped between two worlds and has to find a way out…
Writer Miran Hadžić was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina but was raised in London. He visited Kosovo to work with acclaimed composer Trimor Dhomi on this 45-minute dark satire on a dystopian UK.
Where is Mr President? by Agnesa Mehanolli (Sun 20 June 5pm-6.30pm)
When the President of Kosovo fails to appear at a large Independence Day rally, his senior officials go into overdrive to try to locate him. As time ticks on, a power vacuum emerges which neither the Prime Minister nor Head of Parliament are prepared to fill. Instead, to prevent widespread unrest, they appoint the most unlikely of candidates… A hilarious new satire from Pristina-based new writer Agnesa Mehanolli.
Nude by Ulpiana Maloku (Sun 20 June 5pm-6.30pm)
A proud middle-aged mother takes her best friend to a landmark exhibition by her artist son Guri, whose painting career is starting to take off. Kosovo’s latest art sensation specialises in contemporary nudes, but neither woman is prepared for what they find when they finally see Guri’s paintings for themselves… A quirky comedy from Pristina-based writer Ulpiana Maloku.
Out Of The Woods premieres at Counterpoint Arts’ Refugee Week (14-19 June 2021) as a series of ‘gathered listening’ events via Zoom. These plays represent the first tranche of an ongoing initiative to use independent audio drama to bring contemporary Kosovan and Balkan stories to the world.
Part of Counterpoints Arts creative programme for Refugee Week 2021.