Rute Costa has written a play that is the main show at Corpus Playroom November 1-5. I met up with her and the cast for a desert themed photoshoot. There is not much desert around Cambridge, so we had to improvise, and they had bought 15 kg of sand and a big tarpaulin sheet so that we could create our own little private desert in the Corpus Playroom dressing room.

“I used to think I could just replant myself – that exile was a new garden in which to grow. But now my roots are rotting. I’ll stop being a tree and turn into sand.”

Six women meet in exile. They don’t know where they are. They don’t know when, or who, or why. Stuck in this place of placelessness, enclosed and without borders, they search in the sand for memories of home as their identity slips through their fingers. It hasn’t rained in weeks. Medea feels entitled to the last drop. Antoinette is trapped in the attic. Agave is haunted by the image of her son’s severed head. Samasti just got her period. Abhita thinks this is a joke. And Elaheh wants to write down the desert. As tensions run high and the water runs out, the women are forced to unearth their stories.

(Text from Camdram)

Lola Olufemi
Niamh Curran
Beatriz Santos
Ruby Kwong
Emily Collinson
Emily Collinson
Claire T-S
Claire T-S

Rute Costa:

“e x i l e has been exciting and challenging in so many ways. I wrote this play thinking about the many women throughout history who are forced out of their homes. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to hear their stories. So I thought: what if we could? What if for a moment we were able to eradicate the barriers of time and space and language, and could have several of these women together, exploring their experiences? Where on earth would that be possible? Nowhere. But also in my head and in the theatre. That’s how e x i l e was born (with a lot of help from my friends).
There will be six women on stage (a privilege and a necessity to make the most of the huge female acting talent Cambridge has). The characters will be from places other than Britain (yes, we want to hear from outside the bubble). The text will have its flaws but I believe in it. And you should too.
There will be an ambitious set, beautiful costumes and wonderful original music. I’ve never in my life been this lucky to be surrounded by such talented people. The work is theirs as much as it is mine.
Come support something different. Come make your mind up about it.”

Reviews: TCS (9/10), Tab (5/5), Varsity (4.5/5)

Medea – Niamh Curran
Abhita – Ruby Kwong
Elaheh – Emily Collinson
Samasti – Claire T-S
Antoinette – Beatriz Santos
Agave – Lola Olufemi

Production Team
Writer – Rute Costa
Co-director – Faye Guy, Rute Costa
Co-creator – Faye Guy, Rute Costa
Producer – Raniyah Qureshi
Assistant Producer – Victoria Bowden
Set Concept – Rute Costa, Faye Guy
Movement Adviser/Choreographer – Elise Limon
Technical Director – Ronit Wineman
Costume Designer – Emily Dan, Anna Russell
Set Designer – Kieran Tam
Publicity Designer – Kieran Tam
Stage Manager – Mariella Brown
Composer – Arthur Robijns
Headshot Photographer – Svenja Granderath
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth

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