Promiseland An uncompromising look into the heart of London's most shameful darkness; the world of human trafficking!
Synopsis London, a city seen as a beacon of opportunity to people from around the world, a promised land to which thousands flock every year in the hope of forging a new life. And for some it is all they dreamed of. but for others it becomes a cruel nightmare.
RAaW's new play PROMISELAND strips back the glamour of London to reveal a dark, seething underbelly as we follow the story of one young woman, Abieyuwa, whose dreams of a new life as a model are shattered by the reality of human trafficking as she is sold into the sex trade in North London, eventually dying of an overdose, her body dumped in woodland. Set against Abies story is those of the people around her. Some live their lives oblivious to the abuse going on, in some cases, right next door to them, some try to help... some turn their heads preferring to remain blind to the truth. But all are affected by this hidden crime.
Bleak and uncompromising PROMISELAND brings to the fore the real consequences of human trafficking and forces us all to see and remember.
Cast Aniesha Rowe
Crew Written by Robbi Stevens and Victoria Howell
Produced by RAaW Theatre
Directed by Robbi Stevens
Deputy Stage Manager by Victoria Howell
Assistant Stage Manager by Glynis Davis
Lighting Design by Sherry Coenen
Composition by Enrick Adam
Set and Costume Design by Ilona Kahn
Assistant Set Design by Helen Quinn-Gregson
Set Construction by Mark Atkinson
Stage Combat Coaching by Sam Kahn
Voice and Accent Coaching by Victoria Howell and Simon Money
Marketing Materials by Hayley Bacon
Online Trailer Production by RAaW Film
Video Editor by Michael Pike
Director Promiseland is more than just a theatre piece to me. Having two young daughters, I have naturally become more aware of the dangers in our society, including the increase in human trafficking over the last ten years. It is estimated that two children per minute are trafficked for sexual exploitation and 98% of those trafficked for sexual exploitation are women and girls.
It was very important, when writing and workshopping the script, to be as loyal as possible to the actual facts surrounding human trafficking and I began to understand both the extent of the suffering, brutality and exploitation these women have been through, but also that a percentage of our society had developed a dull acceptance of the suffering and even worse regarded the whole topic as one for needy people in search of an agenda to attach themselves to. Therefore it was just as important for me to establish those points of views in the characters surrounding the trafficked women in the play as it was to capture the painful journeys of the trafficked women themselves.
We have been lucky enough to collaborate with STOP THE TRAFFIK in producing this play and I have a great respect for both the work they do and their aims to bring more awareness to this terrible crime. It states in their book that one person can make a difference and we, as a company, hope that in producing this play we will have made a difference. However, it is not enough just to shine a light on something without any changes being made, so we will be seeking funding to run additional projects in the future. In the meantime, if this play can get everyone in the audience to at least examine what is going on around them, then, for now at least, we have done our job.
Special Thanks RAaW London gratefully acknowledges the support of Bex Keer and everyone at STOP THE TRAFFIK for their invaluable help during the research and development of this production and Sophie Hayes for her inspiration.
In addition, we extend our thanks to Dorothy Paton for being so lovely around rehearsal space on Saturdays, Nurhan Mustafa and colleagues at The Turkish Cypriot Community Association who not only provided us with rehearsal space on Tuesday evenings by went out of their way to accommodate our needs and Mildred & Mertyl (you know who you are) for their sterling efforts in fundraising for this production.
Finally, thank you to Shenay Stephenson, Kitty Evans, Isabel Patrick, Jordan Uzoka, Simone Wilson, David Owusu, Davy Quiston, Rianna Clayton Pike, and all the members of the cast and crew, our friends and families, who worked so hard to promote the production over the last few weeks of the rehearsal period.