Since the beginning of her journey in 2021, Little Amal has travelled through over 70 cities and been welcomed at more than 160 unique events, reaching 875,000 people in the 12 countries she visited, and millions more online. Made by the Handspring Puppet Company, who previously worked on War Horse, Little Amal will travel to 11 towns and cities across England, including Birmingham, in a bid to “rewrite the narrative” about refugees.
Between June 19-27, Little Amal will take part in her New Steps, New Friends tour of England marking World Refugee Week by travelling across the country meeting old friends and making new ones. As always, Amal will be sharing her message of resilience and hope with anyone who has been forced to leave their homes.
Produced by Birmingham Rep, Little Amal will arrive in Birmingham on June 23 for her first-ever visit to the city and there will be a free event and festivities taking place from 11.30am at the Council House in Victoria Square. The giant puppet will then head to walk through the city centre via Chamberlain Square and along Centenary Way before concluding at Centenary Square.
Along the route, joined by drummers from The Rep’s Commonwealth Connections schools project, Little Amal will stop to meet different ‘families’ made up of relatives, friends and community groups for a special photo portrait by acclaimed Birmingham photographer, Dr. Pogus Caesar. Each portrait will be set against giant moveable photo frames that will pop up along Little Amal’s route; photographer Jaskirt Boora will document her journey.
Birmingham and West Midlands based community groups taking part include Journey Asylum Seekers Group, Women & Theatre, City of Sanctuary schools, Stories of Hope and Home, RESTORE and Refugee Action. This theatrical installation celebrates Birmingham’s diverse population and introduces Amal to everything Brummie.
Rachael Thomas, Executive Director at Birmingham Rep, said: “We are extremely honoured to be producing Little Amal’s first-ever visit to Birmingham’s city centre, marking World Refugee Week. Little Amal is not only an arresting and beautiful moment for the public to be a part of, but a rousing symbol of human rights that is so relevant in our world right now. We look forward to introducing Amal to the ‘families’ that make up our rich and vibrant city.”
Little Amal’s story began in Good Chance Theatre‘s award-winning play, The Jungle, where she opened as a character who represented the hundreds of unaccompanied minors in the Calais camp who were separated from their families. Now, after critical acclaim, Little Amal will be continuing to spread her message in support of young refugees.
Find out more about Little Amal’s journey here.