Tottenham’s theatre company, Haringey Shed brings to the Bernie Grant Arts Centre a piece of musical theatre that takes on issues of identity, relationships and what happens when we find ourselves thousands of miles away from home.
The Dividing Line is inspired by the true events of a family who flee their war-torn country and find themselves in Tottenham.
Performed by Haringey Shed’s Youth Theatre with an original music score, it follows a young woman, Zainab, her mother and her three brothers as they struggle to adapt to living in this corner of North London.
Despite Haringey being London’s most diverse borough, settling into school is not easy for Zainab. When her father comes to join them, life gets even more complicated.
Haringey Shed are an inclusive theatre company for anyone aged 7 to 25. They run a number of projects including performing arts workshops in Haringey and surrounding boroughs.
Last year the company got together with Tottenham born grime artist and Mercury prize winner, Skepta, and delivered a music programme as part of the Levi’s Music Project.
Skepta and Levi’s (the jeans people) partnered to establish a new, purpose built music space at the Selby Centre, N17.
Young singers and musicians had the opportunity to be mentored by the grime god himself and it culminated in twelve of them performing their work at the V&A last November.
This new piece is special for them, the group says, because it’s inspired by the story of one of their own volunteers.
“I like to create theatre that is based on real life stories and issues. I believe that audiences empathise with this and invest more emotionally in the story, if it comes from a place of truth,” says Haringey Shed artistic director, Eddie Latter.
“Even though the dramatic events that occur during the piece are not her exact story, the emotions of her leaving her country and how she felt when she arrived in London are intrinsic in the story we tell.”
The Dividing Line will be the group’s most ambitious project in years: it will be performed by 43 local talents aged 11-16, plus around 20 support staff.
It aims to bring to life some of the people behind the faces we see every day in our own neighbourhoods. Brought to you by the young faces of Tottenham itself.
Words: Clare Flaxen