On Arriving is a new one-woman play, exploring a young refugee’s fight for survival, as her country falls apart before her eyes.
We are transported back and forth through memories as she shares her journey; from the familiarity of joking with friends and navigating young love, to what it means to lose loved ones and what we call home.
Presented through a non-linear structure - reflecting the way we recall memories - this brave, poetic play looks at the human moments of one person’s choice to leave a place they have known their entire life, to set off for something unknown.
Sophia Eleni performs with deep, personal connection to the story of home and war, her own family having been made refugees when fleeing Cyprus in 1974 after the Turkish invasion.
The play is directed by Cat Robey, Deputy Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre.
It is written by Ivan Faute, an award winning playwright from the US, who has worked with Bosnian refugees in America and minority students in Vietnam, where he lived for several years.
Praise for the earlier short version:
“With Cat Robey directing, it is of course performed with compassion and care. Actress Sophia Eleni ably captures all the anger, frustration and desperation from having to leave the most important thing behind.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐View From The Gods
“A strongly performed and emotionally charged piece of theatre.” LondonTheatre1Book Now
On Arriving will be Searchout Theatre’s first production.
Cat Robey - Director
Deputy Director of Jermyn Street Theatre
Recent directing includes: The Shy Manifesto (Live Theatre Newcastle & national tour); The Good Landlord (VAULT Festival & King’s Head).
Recent associate/assistanting includes: For Services Rendered (Jermyn Street); Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe).
Birkbeck MFA Theatre Directing graduate and Resident Trainee Director at HOME 2015-16.
Sophia Eleni - Actor | Sound Designer/Composer
Training: Rose Bruford
Theatre: The Good Landlord (King's Head); Fennel Spiked Lamb (The Bunker); To Be Or Not To Be Scarlett O'Hara (Etcetera).
Television: Tyrant; Whatever After.
Film: Finding Fatimah; Black Mass.
Ivan Faute - Playwright
Studied writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago Program for Writers.
Theatrical work includes: Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher (City Lit Art of Adaptation Festival winner); The Darling Children (New York International Fringe). Finalist for the Award of Excellence in Playwriting by the Association for Theater in Higher Education.
Annie Tayler - Producer
Producing includes: Hell Yes I’m Tough Enough (Park Theatre); Eignegrau (King's Head).
Currently developing My Turn Now and co-running the campaign RepresentAge, looking at how women are represented on stage and screen as they age.
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We received extremely positive reviews and audience feedback for the short, ten minute version of On Arriving:
Views From The Gods (The Space | Jan 2017): “With Cat Robey directing, it is of course performed with compassion and care. Actress Sophia Eleni ably captures all the anger, frustration and desperation from having to leave the most important thing behind”
LondonTheatre1 (Theatre N16 | Nov 2017): “A thoughtful monologue. A strongly performed and emotionally charged piece of theatre”
Theatre Weekly: “With a quietly distinguished presence, Sophia Eleni gave a very moving performance”
Audiences described the short version of the play as, “Daring and vulnerable for the actor. Heartbreaking and sobering for the rest of us,” and a work that “changes how I will behave going forward.”
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