Performing Arts students explore asylum with powerful play

3rd March 2023

Performing Arts students from Solihull College & University Centre recently transfixed audiences with a play exploring the journey of a young asylum seeker.

Wanting to highlight the current situation that asylum seekers face, the students researched the topic, and with their lecturer’s guidance, chose to adapt the book ‘Mehdi’s Story’ into a play.

Shaun Casey, Performing Arts Lecturer, explains: “This play was a great opportunity for students to explore physical theatre. One of the methods I used to encourage this was taking away the element of using their facial expressions by incorporating masks. How do you successfully engage your audience and express the emotions you want by only using your body?”

The trestle masks captivated the audience and created an added element of curiosity and darkness to the poignant subject matter.

Student, Grace Abbott shares: “You constantly see these heart-breaking stories on the news and to then bring it to life a bit more through your art and theatre was quite profound.”

Two students narrated the story of the main character ‘Mehdi’ as the others silently acted out the roles of different characters such as Mehdi, the social worker, young people and the police.

The play concludes with an air of uncertainty, in keeping with the protagonist’s feelings of his future.

Find out more about the College’s Performing Arts courses: Performing Arts