German actress Sarah Alles has been cast in Marion Bott’s Moormaid at Arcola Studio.
Moormaid marks the UK debut for both Sarah Alles and Marion Botts. This explosive new play is about two lost individuals’ search for freedom.
Set in Berlin, Moormaid is a thrilling chamber-play about self-destruction and rebirth that attempts to understand the fear currently gripping the European psyche, and the threats that may be posed by our own alienated youth. Bott’s inspiration for Moormaid came in 2014, when she discovered that two of her old classmates had travelled to Syria to fight for IS and didn’t come back. She was shocked by the banality with which the news was discussed and how this absurdity has now become a normality.
Moormaid tackles challenging and important issues that are often neglected: cultural differences, radicalisation, mental health, self-acceptance and isolation. It seeks to better understand the human beings caught up in extremism and the cages we build for ourselves that form our point of view
Berlin. Eleven past eleven. Art teacher Melissa is about to do something drastic. Seeking a place to hide, her ex-pupil Mehdi interrupts her momentum. This meeting is the key to her questions as Melissa represents a depressed and fearful generation longing to break out. Medhi is the mirror of her darkest and greatest desires – he provokes and draws out all the suppressed aspects of her personality and brings them back to life, no matter how uncomfortable it becomes. Both embark on a turbulent journey, painting and battling their way through the past.
Bott comments, The shocking news about my classmates haunted me until I took the decision to seek and better understand, rather than to judge in ignorance. As I sought the uncomfortable truths, the story of Moormaid took shape. The play tackles hugely complex themes, which we hear on the news all the time, but I’m interested in the humans behind it. Especially the radicalised youth. It’s really important to listen to their rage, and instead of being scared and letting the fear grow: face it and transform it. And never forget to ask: where is the human behind all this?”
Alles comments, I’m excited to be making my UK debut at Arcola Theatre and I’m looking forward to diving into this incredible new play. Melissa is a strong female character despite her struggles with her inner mind – she has built a cage around herself, like a dolls house that she has to live in. I hope we can make people wake up and see the cages they build and hopefully tear them into pieces.
Moormaid is directed by Zois Pigadas, designed by Sophia Simensky, with lighting and sound design by Tim Boyd.
The full cast for this fantastic new play will be announced at the end of February. Moormaid has been kindly supported by Arts Council England and Arcola Theatre.