Epic teen drama tells Afghan refugee’s story

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Julia Vosnakis and Rami Saaid. Photo: Thomas Mccammon.

ADELAIDE’S Windmill Theatre Company has restarted its national touring program after covid with the epic teen drama, “Amphibian” coming this week to Canberra. 

Based on the real experiences of photographer Muzafar Ali and visual artist Elyas Alavi, “Amphibian” tells the story of Chloe and Hassan, two new kids at school who are sent out of class under suspicion of stealing money while feeding the class axolotl.

As they work to find the culprit, the story emerges of a young Afghan boy who has travelled across land and sea for the chance at a better life.

A scene from the 2018 production of “Amphibian”. Photo: Sia Duff.

This portrait of the refugee experience has been jointly created by Windmill’s associate director Sasha Zahra and South Australian playwright Duncan Graham, and enjoyed a hit season in 2018.

In this revival, the two characters are played by Julia Vosnakis and Rami Saaid.

“The starting point for ‘Amphibian’ was interviewing young people about what was important to them,” Zahra says.

“The responses overwhelmingly focused on ideas of family… When we were creating the show, stories about refugees and unaccompanied minors were dominating the news cycle.”

The digital experience, as seen in 2018. Photo: Sia Duff.

The play was developed through consultation process with Ali and Alavi, and it is accompanied by the digital experience, “Across Land and Sea: Muzafar’s True Story”, which sees his story told through an immersive documentary platform which blends illustration, animation and video interviews.

“Amphibian” at The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre, 10am, Friday, June 11, suitable for ages 12 and up. Book here or 6275 2700. 

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