A POWERFUL new theatre production about statelessness and nationality is taking place in Bradford next week.

Free to Stay from Bradford-based Displace Yourself Theatre uses striking projection and a powerful soundtrack featuring personal testimonies.

Co-Artistic Directors Jennifer Nevin and Mike Auger spent time working with people who have experienced statelessness, both at the Thailand-Myanmar border and with those who have come to seek asylum in the UK.

The show, at the Theatre in the Mill on Friday October 13, is the result of their time with those communities and their long research process with groups across the UK including the British Red Cross Refugee Support Service. It is about the experiences of displaced communities, about statelessness and what it means to have or not have a nationality.

Says Jennifer Nevin of Displace Yourself Theatre: “Free to Stay is about belonging and an exploration of life without nationality, inspired by years of research with people who have first hand experience of statelessness in the UK and overseas.?“As a company, Displace Yourself seeks to tell some of the stories of those who feel invisible and to challenge injustices, and we hope we have achieved that with Free to Stay.”

She adds: “Free To Stay is not about taking one person’s story and putting it on stage, rather it is about sharing a range of people’s experiences, giving audiences a powerful insight about how they might feel if they were in a similar situation and challenging them to think about how things could be different.”

The company’s work is about challenging inequalities in society and is informed by the ongoing Creating Together Project which offers a creative outlet and free regular arts training with people who are socially excluded including people facing homelessness, refugees and asylum seekers and those with experience of mental health services.

The in-depth work with these people influences the creative output of the company, and helps ensure their shows are an accurate reflection of the struggles people are facing in modern Britain.

Juliet Forster, Associate Director at York Theatre Royal - where the show takes place on Monday - describes the performance as: “A very powerful visceral experience that challenged the watcher emotionally, physically and spiritually which was a refreshing change”

Directed by Iain Bloomfield, Free to Stay is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It has been developed in association with ARC Stockton Arts Centre, The Civic Barnsley, Theatre in the Mill Bradford with support from Slung Low's HUB.

Visit: brad.ac.uk/theatre/whats-on/free-to-stay; displaceyourselftheatre.co.uk