Walk My Journey was originally performed to a live audience of 3000 people in Chester City Centre in November 2018. Involving twenty five local schools, 700 children, four teenagers and 6 asylum seekers, this film and piece of live theatre and music told the stories of displaced people from across the world, including Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iran. The film was created in partnership with national charity City of Sanctuary, and the momentum created by the project resulted in Chester being granted City of Sanctuary Status. The filming, by Andy Davies of thevideocompany was directed by Jo McLeish with music by Theatre in the Quarter artistic director Matt Baker. Various locations were used for the filming in parts of Salford, Manchester and with 700 children on Chester Racecourse.
Jo McLeish, producer of Walk My Journey said: "It's such an honour to have the Royal Shakespeare Company interested in this project and to commission it for their Refugee Week activities. It's lovely to think that this incredible piece of work, that got such a great response in Chester, will now be seen by an entirely new audience. The more people that can get an understanding of why so many displaced people have to make the tough choice to leave their homelands and come to the UK, the better. What Walk My Journey did, and now will continue to do, is celebrate the humans behind the headlines.”
The Other Place is one of The Royal Shakespeare Company’s venues which can be found on the banks of the River Avon in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The RSC describe it as “a creative hub for learning, research and development with rehearsal rooms and a 200-seat studio theatre’. The venue hosts regular festivals of new work as well as providing additional performance space for work with young people and the local community.
Geraldine Collinge, Director of Events and Exhibitions said, “The Royal Shakespeare Company was proud to host a week of screenings of Walk My Journey during Refugee Week 2019. It was great to screen this powerful and very well made film and to contribute in some small way to the important work that Theatre in the Quarter are doing.”
Matt Baker, composer of the music for Walk My Journey added,”The impact of the film has resulted in several of the schools wanting to find out more about how they can become Schools of Sanctuary, and I am delighted that the work has been recognised well beyond our own city.” Walk My Journey will also be programmed as part of Refugee Week more locally in Chester Cathedral.
Any school wishing to fond out more about becoming a School of Sanctuary should contact Chester City of Sanctuary representative Michael Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.