The National Theatre presents KIN by Gecko Theatre Company. Leah and her family escaped from Yemen to Palestine in 1932. In 2024 her grandson Amit Lahav (Artistic Director of Gecko) brings KIN to the stage, exploring the plights faced by refugees.
What drives a family to flee their home and all that is familiar to them, escaping to another country and culture and facing all the cultural challenges that this encompasses? KIN explores these reasons and shows the trials and obstacles those escaping to a better life face.
Gecko Theatre Company are a multi-national company that uses stories and experiences from their cast, bringing them to life on stage and sharing them with audiences through high-energy movement and music. Each member has a reason to be part of this extraordinary production and as you watch the desperation and compassion unfold you are drawn into the stories. I felt moved and disgusted by the humiliating behaviour some of those in authority subjected the refugees to.
Artistic Director Amit Lahav decided 22 years ago to make an arresting, powerful, and energised piece of theatre. KIN delivers each of those in abundance. Driven by his own family's experiences, the performance offers a thought-provoking and emotive insight.
The incredible lightning by Chris Swain sets the atmosphere and scenes, especially when the refugees are out at sea with only the moon to light their way. Along with the turning stage to offer the effects of the boats floating lost at sea.
In the current plight of thousands of refugees today, and the war in Ukraine and Gazza continuing along with other war-torn areas, KIN holds a mirror up to society to highlight the strength and hostility refugees have to overcome to live a peaceful life. Allowing people to understand their journeys and treat them with more compassion as they start a new life.
It runs until 27 January.
Review: Elaine Chapman Photo: Mark Sepple