Why is the Boy with a Suitcase?

Camp Mannheim, March 24th 2011.

Neckarau. An industrial suburb of Mannheim. Schnawwl has a rehearsal space here. The nearest food is the Turkish market or an organic store called Bittersuche. We usually stop at Tattersall and buy sandwiches for lunch.

Rehearsals for Mike Kenny's Boy with a Suitcase. 
Blocking and dramaturgy debates are done...
The nature of a collaboration
How much Indian/German presence is felt
Whether the structure is too German
The third level of performance

And we open on April 10th.   So now is the time to blog.

Andrea Gronemeyer

Or try and spin tops :)

I just realized that this play is completely about the refugee situation in Europe. Attempts to drawn a link between children's migration in India is futile. Everyday in the German news there are reports about boats carrying children into Europe, sinking. Four days ago forty children drowned. Today there is an article about young girls (largely Romanian) who clean car windscreens at the traffic lights in Berlin. They outline a heart in the soap suds and hope that people pay them before the Polizei get them. This is the context of the play.

Naz, the protagonist, is almost certainly from Afghanistan. The refugee camps are usually in Iraq. Smugglers pick up the children and take them to Turkey, where they get on boats and try to make it into Greece, Italy and Spain - EU countries - from where they hope to make it to wealthier EU countries such as Germany and France.

Krysia could be from anywhere. Serbia, Croatia, Romania...
Unimaginable that in Europe's richest countries, it is possible to find children who have so little and still stand to lose so much.

In India, for better or worse, we see the nature of child labour. In Europe it's a dirty secret.


  1. I saw this play yesterday and could not relate to it at all. You are right in saying that this play is completely about the refugee situation in Europe. While it was well performed, and was high on energy and style, it left me somewhat under-impressed.

  2. Hi KK,
    Thanks for your comment. Would be curious to know what you felt were its shortcomings...