HARD-HITTING NEW PLAY FOR 2020

24th October 2019Simon North

“Pipeline” is the working title of a new play tackling head-on the growing issue of school exclusion leading young people into a web of crime, violence and prison.

And it’s already getting plaudits from invited audiences at rehearse reading performances in Banbury, Bristol, Coventry, Oxford, and London as the company fine tunes the script with writer Avaes Mohammad.

Described by Mandala’s Artistic Director Yasmin Sidhwa as ‘a conversation about what is happening to young people in the UK right now’ it has been developed through workshops all over the UK. “It’s a full-on piece”, commented Yasmin. “that sums up the voicelessness of many young people. ‘Pipeline’ captures the moment of exclusion from school, the feeling of utter failure and then explores how gangs manipulate vulnerable teenagers by offering a sense of belonging.”

The rehearse reading performances have drawn praise from its audience of experts, influencers and most importantly young people in schools and pupil referral centres. “The young people seeing this development stage of the script absolutely get it and what the play is saying about their lives. We have had amazing contributions from the audiences that will help to shape the final script”, added Yasmin.

Troubled Tachia is drawn into a gang’s web of crime. Photo by Stu Allsopp

Four exciting young actors have been recruited by Mandala to turn ‘Pipeline’ into a touring show that will perform in UK theatres next year. Francesca Amewudah-Rivers joins Mandala after working at Hackney Showroom, Shaftesbury Theatre and the Royal Court; Kent Okwesa’s credits also include performing at the Royal Court plus film and BBC TV work; Rob Macpherson trained at Oxford School of Drama and has since worked for The Old Vic, the RSC and the National Theatre plus film and TV work including Great Expectations, Victoria, Doctors, Lewis and Doc Martin; Zak Wadley worked with Midlands-based Central Youth Theatre and the National Youth Theatre. 

‘Pipeline’ is the final part of a touring trilogy of new play writing Mandala Theatre Company has realised. It started three years ago with Nightlight and continued last year with Castaways.

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