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JIS News

‘The Ones We Left Behind’ a drama production exploring the impact of migration on families, will be staged this month at the British Museum in London.A presentation of Full Spectrum Productions, the production features a 30-minute play, a monologue and an interactive discussion.
Sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the production looks at the extensive migration of people from the Caribbean and other countries during the 1950s and 1960s and explores the cultural, emotional and economic experiences of leaving behind one’s homeland, children, and traditionally extended families.
Jamaican-born Lorna Holder, founder and producer of Full Spectrum Productions, told JIS News that the presentation highlighted the Caribbean heritage and the courage and bravery of the early Caribbean pioneers, many whom were highly skilled professionals who went to work and study in the United Kingdom.
It features a play entitled: ‘Homeward Bound’ written by Troy Fairclough and directed by accomplished British actor Eamonn Walker. Fairclough based his play on a series of workshops led by elders from the Caribbean community last year in London and Nottingham. Homeward Bound is set in the departure lounge at Heathrow Airport and centres around a woman’s dilemma over whether or not she should return to her native Jamaica to live out her retirement.
Ms. Holder said it was written with a view to encouraging cross-generational participation, and an interactive discussion lead by historian and broadcaster Alex Pascall, will take place after the performance.
‘The Ones We Left Behind’ also includes the monologue, ‘Departure’ written by Ms. Holder and directed by Leon Herbert, which is based on workshop material and research from the Centre for Filipinos. The dramatic sketch is also set in the departure lounge of Heathrow Airport and the audience listens to a conflicted ‘Nena’ as she decides whether or not to return to the son and husband she left behind in the Philippines 25 years before.
Ms. Holder said that issues raised in the evening’s presentations will reach a wider audience through the publication of a book, which will be distributed free of charge to schools, museums and libraries.
Ms. Holder, who grew up in Nottingham, knows firsthand the difficulties of migration, as she was separated from her mother at the age of four, when she left to start a new life in England in 1957. Her great grandmother looked her after until she was reunited with her mother in 1959.
“The sense of family is one that crosses all cultures and in a time when so many people are travelling the globe in search of better prospects, this production is one that will mean something to everyone. It unites all communities in the sharing of their experiences on the impact of leaving loved ones behind,” she stated.