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Lyric life

From our Young Lyric Partners – AMICI

AMICI and the Lyric have worked together for many years, with AMICI’s first show at the Lyric, 20/20 opening in July 2000. This May they celebrate their 40th anniversary and were going to present AMICI One World in the Lyric’s Main House. Even though the show was cancelled we will still be celebrating with AMICI and everything they’ve achieved in their 40 years.

As part of their celebrations AMICI will be screening six past productions during the week of the 18 May, with a Q and A with Wolfgang. Go to AMICI’s website for all the details.

AMICI’s Director Wolfgang Stange told us more about AMICI as they hit the big 40:

40 years ago AMICI embarked on their long journey. The actress Judy Fairclough wrote a poem for the occasion. Herself a wheelchair user because of multiple sclerosis championed the acceptance of differences in our society that became the platform AMICI stood on for the past 40 years. Here is an extract from that poem:

I AM NOT YET DEAD

I am not yet dead, oh hear me
Let not let those who have sight and yet are blind
Come near me
I am without sight and yet can feel the insensitivity of those with seeing eyes
I am not an object to be moved or grasped
With never ‘Can I help’
Or left abandoned without a word
With only silence to unfold the truth
I cannot see, but ears can hear
And fingertips relay the wonders of the world
I see with the inner eye, do you?

AMICI was political by its mere existence. Performances touched on the exploitation of the working class in Rückblick 1982, 1983, 1988 and 1995, to the understanding of people suffering from mental illness in Passage to Sanity. In 1990 the subject of Cross Dressing as well as sex between a disabled and non-disabled people in 1993 in The Journey. 1996 showed the remarkable endurance of artists during the Third Reich in HILDE. In 2000 we looked back on the 20th Century and how minority groups were treated showing the horror of the Holocaust and the miss-treatment of people with disabilities. 2003 brought the 84-year-old Marjory Crawford back to the stage reliving her war years as an entertainer. In 2005 in Stars Are Out Tonight, the question was raised, should non reformist be sent to another planet including people with disabilities? In Elegy in 2007 AMICI discovered the stories of six grieving mothers to uncover the untimely death of their children. 2010 Tightrope saw a circus of misfits defying all odds. In 2015 the same was true for 35 AMICI Drive where a group of tenants triumphed over the authorities, with the acceptance that differences build a stronger society.

AMICI has employed Ariel artists, actors, dancers, scriptwriters, Jazz singers, Opera singers, musicians as well the whole of the New London Orchestra. We’ve travelled and taken our work to Tokyo, Warsaw, Berlin, Stuttgart, Cairo and Boston. All AMICI wants to do is to make the wider public aware that inclusiveness is for all of us to benefit from.

The new production AMICI’S One World explored issues that are plaguing our planet from refugee crisis to the killing of the innocent by extremists, the Christchurch Mosque shooting and the Sri Lanka bombing. Only positive action by all of us, accepting that we are all in the same boat and instead of pushing people off the boat, help them to climb on to it. AMICI had invited people from Next Zealand, Australia, Japan, Sri Lanka, the USA, Canada, Austria, Wales and Scotland to climb onto our boat to end the show with positive energy to encourage the audience to go home on a high, realising not all is lost.

Wolfgang Strange, Artistic Director, Amici Dance Theatre Company and Alison King, Executive Director Turtle Key Arts