Refugee Boy


What do you get when you mix a polemic topic, a misunderstood community, two of Britain’s best poetic voices and the artistic directors at Birmingham REP? The answer is Refugee Boy – a heartbreaking and hilarious production brimming with hope, humanity and love.

This is an adaption of Benjamin Zepheniah’s novel of the same title. It runs from Tuesday 8th – Saturday 12th April so order your ticket here before they get snapped up. It tells the story of Alem, a fourteen year old boy fleeing civil war with his family. After being smuggled into the UK, his Ethiopian father and Eritrean mother make the heartbreaking to decision to leave him in London whilst they return to their country.

Alem’s new life in London brings a host of challenges – he is shoved from pillar to post – between court hearings, children’s homes, and foster families. He decides to take control and become the master of his own destiny. He transcends his label and comes of age in circumstances too difficult for most of us to contemplate.

In this production, Gail McIntrye, Playhouse Associate Director, brings together the work of Lemn Sissay and Brum’s favourite dub-poet, Benjamin Zephaniah.

The play has received rave reviews. Many of them focus on the production’s seamless transitions between stages of Alem’s life and the poignant presentation of such a tough young life. The creative team behind it were supported by a local charity working with refugees, City of Sanctuary.

There will be a free curtain-raiser performance before the evening performance of Refugee Boy on 10th April

“A Place Called Home” by Bethan Marlow and directed by Erin Gilley tells the powerful, moving, and inspirational stories collected from a diverse group of refugees and asylum seekers who are all in the process of making Birmingham their home.

This is one not to be missed. The best of Brum’s creative talent coming together and raising awareness of a serious issue.