‘FreeDome’ arts extravaganza comes to Sheffield

‘FreeDome’ arts extravaganza comes to Sheffield  supporting image

A refugee charity theatre troupe is teaming up with Sheffield Theatres for a four days festival of hope this February

Good Chance Theatre has announced its collaboration with Sheffield Theatres to bring its celebrated four-day arts festival FreeDome to Sheffield from Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 February, 2020.


The FREE festival, which has already popped up in nine locations worldwide, including Paris, New York and on London’s Southbank, is set to be packed full of performances, workshops and creative events, allowing a space for everyone to build a new global community in just four days.


It’s five years since Good Chance built the first ‘Theatre of Hope’ in the Calais “Jungle” camp and began its ground-breaking international work with artists from refugee backgrounds, the award-winning charity is ‘delighted’ to be leading a programme of work in Sheffield to celebrate and welcome those who have migrated to the city from across the globe.


The cornerstone of this collaboration is Change the Word – a bespoke poetry, storytelling and theatre programme for local residents and people recently arrived in Sheffield.


Over four months, the Change the Word Sheffield poetry collective will bring together 27 people from 11 countries: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Pakistan, Sudan, UK and Zambia.


Sheffield Theatre's recently launched talent development space, The Bank


Change the Word creates a space for self-reflection and develops unique new creative’s voices. Through weekly workshops at the Crucible Theatre, and The Bank, Sheffield Theatres’ new dedicated talent development space, the collective will write and share individual reflections on their lives and grow connections with one another and with the city they now call home. 


On Saturday 22 February 2020, the Change the Word Sheffield poetry collective will put their globe-spanning, bold new writing centre-stage in a world premiere performance at FreeDome - a four-day arts extravaganza from Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 February - packed full of performances, workshops and creative events at Barker’s Pool in Sheffield.


Free and open to all, FreeDome will unite local and international artists in a multi-disciplinary, participatory programme devised just as it was in Good Chance’s original ‘Theatre of Hope’ in Calais. It will feature live music, poetry, dance, painting, live performances and plenty more.  


John Tomlinson, Producer at Sheffield Theatres, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Good Chance to develop this programme of work. Sheffield was the first City of Sanctuary, so to be able to encourage participation in projects for those who have migrated here and to celebrate welcome is really important to us. We can’t wait to see how the Change the Word collective develop and are excited to see them share their work as part of the FreeDome Festival in February, ahead of Migration Matters Festival - the UK’s largest Refugee Week festival, from 15-21 June 2020.”


Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, Artistic Directors of Good Chance, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be working in Sheffield, a city with a rich history of art, culture, migration and welcome.


“Change The Word is already uniting different people and stories from Ethiopia to Sheffield and we can’t wait to showcase that work in our dome theatre alongside incredible artists from Sheffield, the U.K. and across the world in February 2020.”


For more info about FreeDome head over to Good Chance Theatre’s website here.

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