“What a great performance. Indeed it was worth watching. Well-directed & up to date. An amazing act indeed. Good to listen to & good for the eyes. Thumbs up to the people behind the act. I really enjoyed it. WELL DONE!!!!!!” ARRIVALS Audience member
“Very powerful, very true. I think a lot of people can identify with the stories. It’s also very nice to access the topic in humour. Very good actors. BRAVO!” ARRIVALS Audience member
The Arrivals project originated from a strong feeling that the main stages of Northern Ireland were resolutely closed to stories that did not orginate in the dominant culture. We were not seeing characters, actors or stories that were not predominantly white, Irish, male and straight. As a fledgling theatre company created to be intercultural at our core, we felt Terra Nova could address the intercultural nature of this problem. in the 2011 census it was revealed that 11% of the population of Northern Ireland is foreign born. Where were these stories? Terra Nova's Artistic Director had an instinct that it was lack of confidence and connections that was causing the problem, after plenty of debate, the Arrivals model was born. Our model was to work on story telling empowerment workshops with our community contacts in Northern Ireland's new immigrant communities, and thereby to discover the individuals who were willing to work more intensely with us to get their stories on stage. At the same time, we put out a call to writers of any background who wanted to be supported to create intercultural theatre. We hired a mix of indigenous and international actors and joined our community in our first master class. Our actors were Northern Irish, Hong Kong Chinese, Rumanian and British Asian. The only rule was, no writer could come with a preconceived story to explore, and they must write for the actors who had already been cast. The masterclass participants themselves hammered out the rules of engagement.
As a result of this process five scripts were created which we then toured as a single night of theatre in Belfast and across the province.
The first Arrivals group helped us hammer out what was missing and how we could enhance Arrivals 2.