Theatre Review: ‘My Mind is Free’ by Sam Hall

My Mind is Free by Sam Hall_eyes_image

Rah Rah Theatre company presents ‘My Mind is Free’, a new play by Medway based playwright Sam Hall’s dealing with the most pressing issue of human trafficking. 

SAM RAPP (‘the Dyslexic Poet’) reviews.

‘My Mind Is Free’ is a play that brings home a powerful message. It is a compelling, thought-provoking story that takes the audience on a journey spanning many countries, together with the victims of human trafficking and those who ply their trade in human misery. It is an international trade which runs through Europe, Africa, China, Brazil, and other countries; it is a trade in human suffering, with broken promises and breaches of the most sincere trust, and people’s lives torn apart.

‘My Mind is Free’ is a raw play that doesn’t hold back, telling the story without apology. It does not shy away from how the victims are treated, raped and abused at all levels of defenceless human plight; or how they are trapped, with escape all but a daydream.

The play opens with those trafficked in a lorry, their bodies, covered by a sheet, cramped into a tiny space trying to sleep, sharing a small bottle of water. They are mixed together, young and old. All have a story to tell, all have been going in different directions in life, and are at different times in their lives, and now in a place in the lorry going somewhere – but no one knows where.

Among the characters we have Giang from Asia, so wonderfully portrayed by Waylon Ma, trying to help his family due to their debts and out of the love he has for them. He is the youngest of the family at just 14, alone and forced to work in a cannabis factory, the fumes making him ill as his young body is not able to cope with the drugs slowly poisoning him.

Then we have Beatriz, played by Emma Miller, who has left her family in Brazil to provide better opportunities for her son and husband. She is isolated and alone in the forced hell of domestic servitude in which she finds herself.

Cassandra Bond plays the young, beautiful and naive Violeta, the downtrodden victim of the ‘boyfriend trap’ who has been tricked into falling in love, then tricked into prostitution and addiction and betrayed by the man she loved. And finally the most striking character in this play is Colin, played by David Sayers, the Englishman who has simply fallen on hard times and finds solace in drinking to excess.

The one thing in common with all the characters is that they are all trying to get away from something in order to change their life to help someone back home; what is often portrayed in the media is that victims of human trafficking are someone else’s problem, someone else’s child, someone else’s pain, and someone for society to batter and belittle. These people are victims, they are just normal everyday people, and for a short time, just for a moment, Giang is shown as the child he was, having fun and enjoying life as he should do.

‘My Mind is Free’ is a powerful and thought provoking piece that sends home a very important message: I would defy anyone not to be moved by it. This is a play that makes you think; it makes you judge your own humanity, and ask questions of society.

The ‘My Mind Is Free’ tour presented by Rah Rah Theatre Company continues at the following venues. I urge you all to see it.

Tuesday 13 October 2015 5.30pm

Katherine Low settlement, 108 Battersea High Street, London SW11 3HP

Wednesday 14 October 2015 7.30pm

The Library at Willesden Green – New Cultural Centre, 95 High Road, Willesden, London NW10 2SF

Thursday 15 October 2015 8.15pm

KAHAILA, 135 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SB

 Friday 16 October 2015 7.30pm

Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1DG