New Derry play on human trafficking to tour local venues

The play will be shown for free at venues across Derry over the coming weeks.

The play will be shown for free at venues across Derry over the coming weeks.

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Derry’s acclaimed professional theatre company Sole Purpose Productions have joined forces with No More Traffik to present a free theatre production at community venues across the city from next week.

‘The House’ will explore the issue of human trafficking, now categorised as a worldwide crisis, with increasing incidents being reported within Northern Ireland.

The House has been written by Edie Shillue and produced/directed by Patricia Byrne, Artistic Director, Sole Purpose Productions.

The short production will tour to multiple community venues, and is a free event. People can book places in advance by contacting: solepurpose@mac.com or telephone 028 7127 9918.

Each performance will be followed by an interactive theatre workshop and discussion facilitated by Patricia and Edie with members of No More Traffik.

Human Trafficking involves people being bought and sold for sexual exploitation, as well as forced labour, street crime, domestic servitude or the sale of organs.

The UN estimates that at present, over 38.5 million people are enslaved globally. In 2014, within Northern Ireland 45 victims were rescued from potential traffickers, which is an increase of 10% on the previous year. Eight of those victims were under 16.

The House will be performed by North-West based actors including Carmel McCafferty, Nicky Harley, Abby Oliveira, Carleen Melaugh and Asya Zuyeva, and the tour has been made possible by funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Small Grants Programme.

It will run on:

Mon 18th at 2pm in The Gasyard Centre;

Tues 19th, 10am The Women’s Centre Derry and the same day at 7pm at Strathfoyle Library;

Wed 20th, 2pm at Old Library Trust Creggan;

Thur 21st, 12.30pm The Playhouse and again at 7pm Pilots Row;

Fri 22nd, 2pm at St Columb’s Park House;

Tues 26th, 2pm at Eglinton Community Hall;

Fri 29th, 2.30pm at Clooney Hall Centre.

Speaking about the subject matter, Gemma Brown, Development Manager with No More Traffik said: “We have learned over the past few years that awareness leads to action, and action leads to change.

“It is by knowing and telling the stories of people who have been trafficked that we are able to act as individuals and communities; and ultimately to bring hope into a dark and complex issue.”

Joanna Johnston, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said they were delighted to fund such an important project.

She said: “It is yet another example of how the arts can help communities across Northern Ireland to engage with challenging issues around them.

“‘The House’ is a terrific partnership between two organisations that have the community at their hearts.”

She added: “Sole Purpose is recognised at a national level for producing socially engaged theatre and their partnership with No More Traffik means that together, through the arts, they can increase awareness of human trafficking in communities from Derry to Belfast. ”