Company Three is made up of 75 young people based in Islington. Formally known as Islington Community Theatre, the company make theatre through collaborations between their young members and industry professionals.
Their most recent work, BOAT, was inspired by the current refugee crisis. A group of young people explore their own family histories whilst imagining the life of a refugee travelling to Europe.
One of the play’s creators and performers, Tienny, told us about the inspiration and creative processes behind BOAT.
“I originally got involved with Company Three in Summer 2015, when I went to a number of workshops they offered. I eventually joined the company and attended regular workshops every Monday. We started coming up BOAT at Platform in summer 2016.
“After seeing the picture in the media of the young boy on the beach, we started talking about how he got there and how people become refugees. We thought about our own contribution to refugees and began writing our own stories. We asked our parents about their stories and did lots of personal research.”
Most of Company Three’s shows are performed as scratch performances in Platform, Islington’s creative hub for young people. Following a scratch performance in February 2016, the members of Company Three have been reworking the script for BOAT’s recent run at Battersea Arts Centre.
“The final scratch was made in 2 weeks, with the Director,” explained Tienny. “We changed the script a lot and learnt how to develop the piece, but that came after months of coming up with the original.
“Hopefully we can make the play a bit longer and add some detail that isn’t currently there and develop the story. Hopefully more people will be able to see it in the future. We actually had an argument between ourselves; are we the right people to make this, what gives us the right to make this piece about the refugee situation? We’re still trying to find the answer to that.”
According to Tienny, the aim was to shed some light on the refugee crisis and empathise with their situation.
“The main message is that we’re all the same, all on our own journeys to start something new and we’ve all migrated. For me, it was to live with my dad that I came to England. Refugees are looking for a better life because they can’t stay where they are.”
Find out more about BOAT and other shows by Company Three.