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Lyric life

The Stories We Tell – international cultural exchange residency for young queer theatremakers from the UK, Kenya and South Africa

The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre’s Young Lyric today announces The Stories We Tell, a new theatre cultural exchange residency that will bring together a collective of young queer participants  from the UK, Kenya and South Africa to create a new piece of theatre exploring gender, sexuality, ethnicity and nationality following two weeks of devising that culminates in a live performance in South Africa in August 2022.

The Stories We Tell will bring together six participants from across three countries and two continents who will unite to create a 45-minute live theatre performance that interrogates and celebrates African and British queer experiences. They will perform to the local community and film their piece for a digital sharing in each of the participants’ home countries.

Six participants from London, Nairobi and Johannesburg, will work with a professional artist from each country: British-South African Director Ameera Conrad, South African Writer and Director Tankiso Mambola, and Kenyan filmmaker Michelle Shingi. They will lead the residency which includes a response to the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre’s upcoming main house play and 25th anniversary production of Closer, interrogated through an intersectional lens to explore how gender and sexuality play a part in who we let in and how the world reacts. With a collective of performers and creatives from three countries, The Stories We Tell will ask the questions ‘Why do we love who we love and how does it change us?’

Young Lyric is now encouraging young LGBTQ+ women, genderqueer and/or non-binary theatre makers from the Global Majority, aged 18-25, based in West London who are interested in developing devising and performance skills to apply for an audition for a place on the project.

The Stories We Tell is a partnership between the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre of the UK, Sibikwa Arts Centre of South Africa and the Youth Theatre of Kenya. It is kindly supported by the British Council and The Daneford Trust

Rob Lehmann, Director of Young Lyric at Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, said: “On behalf of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and our international partners and artists, we’re delighted to launch The Stories We Tell, providing an opportunity for talented young theatre makers from across the world to develop their performance skills in a safe and collaborative creative space that celebrates their cultural identity.

Phyllis Klotz, Sibikwa Arts Centre Co-Founder, Board Member and Consultant, said: “Young people’s voices and rights have always been a focus for Sibikwa. We are thrilled to partner on The Stories We Tell and look forward to the new perspectives, narratives and opportunities that will emerge from this collaboration.”

Jazz Moll, Director of Youth Theatre Kenya said: “On behalf of Youth Theatre Kenya, we are delighted to be part of The Stories We Tell, and part of the team offering a safe space for young creative artists from around the globe to explore their creativity and identity, bridge cultures and most importantly, tell and share their stories.”

For further information on The Stories We Tell and to apply, visit . The deadline for applications is 20 May and auditions will be held at the Lyric in the week commencing 23 May.