Inspired by the global refugee crisis and displacement of young people, Windmill Theatre Co brings Amphibian to Adelaide Festival Centre in September.
A world premiere, this epic story of loss and adapting to different worlds is a new work by local playwright Duncan Graham (isthisyours’ Angelique, State Theatre’s Creditors) and follows the stories of Chloe and Hassan, two outsiders both looking to belong.
As their personal histories are revealed, Chloe hears the incredible first-hand account of an Afghan boy who’s travelled alone, thousands of kilometres across land and sea, for a better life.
“When coming up with the idea for Amphibian, [Director]Sasha Zahra and I interviewed dozens of young people about what was important to them. Unsurprisingly it was family, love and truth,” Duncan Graham says.
“The timing of these interviews coincided with some powerful images on the news of refugee families in dire circumstances all over the world. We wanted to capture a story that sees two young people fighting for their version of family, love and truth, while showing how radically different this is for people from different backgrounds.”
Created specifically for ages ten and up, this thought-provoking performance is brought to life by two formidable young actors – Maiah Stewardson, who featured in Windmill’s award-winning film Girl Asleep, and Antony Makhlouf, an actor, visual artist and presenter for Channel Seven’s Get Arty.
Director Sasha Zahra (Book of Loco, previous Adelaide Fringe Creative Producer) says, “Amphibian travels back and forward in time, to different countries and locations, and traverses memory, imagined and dream worlds, creating endless possibilities for interesting and unexpected forms of storytelling to be explored. Duncan’s script is both witty and moving and it’s such a delight to bring this world to life.”
Amphibian brings together a creative team that includes lighting designer Mark Pennington (State Theatre’s Creditors) and first-time Windmill collaborators, designer Meg Wilson (State Theatre’s Terrestrial) and composer Ian Moorhead (Malthouse’s Caravan).
Duncan has developed the script in collaboration with two Afghan cultural consultants, Muzafar Ali and Elyas Alavi to create this important work which Windmill’s Artistic Director, Rosemary Myers says will connect young audiences with global stories.
“It’s great to work with Sasha and Mark again and exciting to bring in some new artistic collaborators with Duncan, Meg and Ian. The displacement of families and young people across the world is a burning issue right now. By locating the play in an Australian school quadrangle, Duncan has found a setting that immediately connects with our audiences to tell this powerful and very human story,” she says.
The work is accompanied by a dynamic, new, online experience for audiences and students called Across Land and Sea: Muzafar’s True Story.
The platform allows users to explore cultural consultant Muzafar Ali’s real-life journey from Afghanistan to Australia as a refugee through video interviews and photos from his life.
Amphibian is a Windmill Theatre Company production presented in association with Adelaide Festival Centre and is showing from 5-15 September 2018 at Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre Tickets. Get your tickets.