Little Amal visits Birmingham city centre produced by Birmingham Rep
Birmingham Rep have announced that they will be producing Little Amal’s first-ever visit to Birmingham city centre on Thu 23 Jun as she journeys through England on her New Steps, New Friends tour to mark World Refugee Week (19-27 Jun). Her visit will be supported by Birmingham City Council andin partnership with Active Arts.
Since her initial 8,000km journey from Syria, Little Amal, a 3.5 metre puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian girl refugee, has become an international symbol of human rights. She has come to represent the millions of refugee children including those who have been separated from their families.
One year on from leaving Syria and 5 weeks after her visit to Ukraine, she will mark World Refugee Week by visiting 11 towns and cities across England, including Birmingham, meeting old friends and making new ones. Amal will be sharing a message of resilience and hope with anyone who has been forced to leave their homes.
In a free event, Little Amal will walk a route through the centre of Birmingham meeting different ‘families’ made up of relatives, friends and community groups. Each of these ‘families’ will pose for a special photo portrait within a giant moveable photoframe, welcoming Amal into their unique group photographs. This theatrical installation celebrates Birmingham’s diverse population and introduces Amal to everything ‘Brummie’. The exact route and timings will be confirmed soon, with details listed at birmingham-rep.co.uk.
Rachael Thomas, Executive Director at The Rep said; “We are extremely honoured to be producing Little Amal’s first-ever visit to Birmingham’s city centre, marking World Refugee Week. Little Amal is not only an arresting and beautiful moment for the public to be a part of, but a rousing symbol of human rights that is so relevant in our world right now. We look forward to introducing Amal to the ‘families’ that make up our rich and vibrant city.”
Little Amal will also visit Manchester, Stonehenge, Liverpool, Bradford and Leeds, Bristol, Cheltenham, Canterbury and London. Her journey will end in Kent where she arrived in the UK, standing on the shore in Folkestone remembering the life she left behind and her first days in her new home.
It takes three puppeteers to operate Little Amal, a stilt walker whose legs become Amal’s and who also animates her face, one puppeteer on each of her arms. There is a team of ten puppeteers, some from refugee backgrounds. The puppet is crafted from moulded cane and carbon fibre.
Little Amal represents the millions of refugee children separated from their families. Her urgent message to the world is “Don’t forget about us”.
The Walk is produced by David Lan, Tracey Seaward and Stephen Daldry for The Walk Productions in association with the Handspring Puppet Company and led by artistic director Amir Nizar Zuabi.
New Steps New Friends is supported by Choose Love.
For more information visit birmingham-rep.co.uk.