What Am I Doing Here?

Tue 25 Mar 2008 to Sat 29 Mar 2008

You never thought it would come to this – not here. But now you have little choice but to leave your homeland. Fortunately, there is a safer country next door, which has everything you need in abundance. All you have to do is get in…

A mystery tour to an undisclosed location where your ideas about home and country will be turned inside out. As you journey to and through the Immigrant Processing Centre you will meet many people – some real, some imaginary – all with stories to tell about who they are, where they came from and how they ended up here.

60 years after the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury with its cargo of 492 passengers from Jamaica, and 40 years after Enoch Powell delivered his notorious “Rivers of Blood” speech, a new event in Swansea tackles the issue of human migration from a unique angle. In Volcano Theatre Company’s latest city-centre event later this month we all get to become immigrants for the evening.

Human beings have always moved from one place to another in search of a better life. Volcano is about to offer the local populace a chance to follow this impulse. For the company’s new event, entitled What Am Doing Here?, they invite you to buy a ticket and board a bus to a mystery location in Swansea, where they will cast their beady and critical eyes upon you and decide whether you deserve to stay and what class of citizen you might become.

The company is cagey about the eligibility criteria for would-be entrants. “We are not in a position to say, but the selection process will be rigorous and scrupulously fair. Oh, and it will involve a certain amount of luck, so bring plenty of that along with you.” But what will happen to those who fail? “They will be well looked after and entertained, and will be asked to return to their homes at the end of the evening. Let me make it perfectly clear that Volcano does not endorse torture under any circumstances…”

What Am I Doing Here? is a unique and memorable experience for the audience, however well or badly they fare in the tests lined up for them! It is a mystery-history tour with songs, video, personal testimony and performance – funny, moving, disorientating and shocking. The mystery location is rich in strange objects – reminders of things that link Swansea to the rest of the world. It tells tales of stowaways and sea-borne rescue (and of those left behind to drown) from Noah’s Ark to the Mumbles Lifeboat to the Vietnamese Boat People. Volcano has teamed up with various kinds of Swansea people, all with stories to tell about where they came from and how they ended up here.

Catherine Bennett
Gareth Clark
Paul Davies
Adel Soleiman Guemar
Marega Palser (aka Mrs Clark)
Philip Ralph
Fern Smith
Gerald Tyler

And Introducing:
Joanne Harries
Jenna Harries
Amelia Marrima
From Swansea Metropolitan University

Devised and written by the cast
Accidental Music: Mr & Mrs Clark
Incidental Music: Patrick Fitzgerald
Production Manager: Ryan Evans
Produced by Carys Shannon
Marketing by Claudine Conway

Garethe El Tawab, Dave Stephens and all staff at the Swansea Museum Collection Centre.
Sybil Crouch and all the staff at Taliesin Arts Centre.
Andrew Deathe
Robbie Stamp
Andrew Morris at Swansea Gymnastics Club.
Jeni Williams
Tom Cheesman
Richard Knapp

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