From The Sky To Your Hands - A Word from the Director, Paul James
From The Sky To Your Hands is an exciting piece of verbatim Theatre which charts the journey of Joana Geronimo and her baby son, Osvaldo, arriving to Newcastle from Angola as refugees in 2003. I first talked to Joana about the possibility of doing the show in Nov 2016 and after an extensive period of interviews, Juliana Mensah, the writer, was able to shape the material in to a script.
In 2008 I worked with Joana on another verbatim piece called From Home To Newcastle which involved a group of young Asylum seekers working alongside some young people from the region .The stories that came out of this show were fascinating but we were only able to touch on Joana's experiences. We decided to re-visit her story in the context of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King receiving an honorary doctorate from Newcastle University, and the Freedom City Festival to mark this. We were interested in delving deeper in to Joan's story and contrasting it with Osvaldo's experiences of growing up in Newcastle as a sixteen year old.
From The Sky To Your Hands includes a talented and diverse group of young people who supports the telling of Joana's story as the Chorus. They have been challenged emotionally and intellectually and have responded with great maturity to the material presented in the piece. For me, Theatre, among other things, is about challenging prevailing orthodoxies and this show certainly does that.
It has been privilege working with Joana on this piece and seeing her develop from a Youth Theatre member to a drama facilitator and actress. This is the kind of journey that we are proud of at Live and why we continue to invest in the personal and social development of the young people involved in our Children and Young Peoples Programme.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Joana for her bravery and willingness to share her compelling story with a North East audience. I appreciate that it must have been difficult re-living some challenging and painful memories.
Director of From The Sky To Your Hands
Senior Creative Associate Children and Young People, Live Theatre
From The Sky To Your Hands has its World Premiere at Live Theatre from Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 November 2017.