HIDDEN by Miriam Halahmy (Albury Books) is a novel for teenagers. HIDDEN was a Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week, who called it “a book to counter bigotry”, and it was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Originally published in 2011, Hidden’s prescient story is to be adapted for the stage in 2017.
Alix, 14, lives on quiet Hayling Island off the south coast of England. She has befriended Samir, 14, an asylum seeker from Iraq who is bullied in school for being ‘different’. One misty, Saturday morning on the beach they pull a drowning man out of the incoming tide. He is Mohammed, a student from Iraq, escaping torture by militias back home for aiding the Allied armies. People smugglers have brought Mohammed to the English coast and then thrown him in the sea. Samir tells Alix they must hide Mohammed to save him from being deported and killed back in Iraq. Faced with the most difficult decision of their lives, what should Alix and Samir do?
The Producers of this new stage adaptation, Stuart Mullins and Rebecca Laughton, are working with playwright Vickie Donoghue to adapt the novel. The project has financial and in kind development support from venue partners house, the Thameside Theatre in Thurrock, The Spring in Havant and Quarterhouse in Folkestone.
In November the creative team, including our Assistant Producer the young Iraqi artist Temor Alkaisi and actor Hassan Al Mousaoy, worked with young people from schools in Thurrock. Thurrock is diverse and deprived. UKIP has 17 councillors representing the local community. The Project has invited young people from three local schools to discuss the central themes of the book. Alix constantly asks questions, she searches for the truth, wrestling with the contradictions that confront her. The integrity of the Hidden Project lies in our ability to hear the questions young people have, not to judge, but to listen.
We shall listen, then adapt Miriam’s story in the context of a post Brexit Britain played out against the backdrop of the refugee crises. The first previews of Hidden will tour in the autumn of 2017, visiting schools, community and professional venues creating a space for a debate. What kind of Britain do we want to live in? What is our national identity? What are our values? The answers to these questions are just as likely to be found in our young audience as they are in Westminster.
For more information contact:
Rebecca Laughton – Rebecca@hiddenproject.co.uk
Stuart Mullins – firstname.lastname@example.org