Donmar Warehouse to release short film ‘Monuments’ exploring the legacy of Empire on local community

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In 2021 the Donmar Warehouse is continuing its work with young people and the local community through its Donmar Local programme.

During the autumn of 2020, a company of twelve Black, Brown and multiracial young Londoners local to the Donmar Warehouse, worked with director Sara Aniqah Malik, writer Nessah Muthy, director of photography Fẹ́mi Awójídé and movement director Kane Husbands, to produce a bold short film called MONUMENTS.

Young people are pushing for political action, drawing attention to the racialised power structures embedded within society. Change is on the horizon.

MONUMENTS was created in response to the anti-racism movements which swept across the world in 2020. The young company have devised a film that explores how the legacy of the British Empire continues to impact their day to day lives, and how statues in the heart of Westminster are physical reminders of the history of slavery and colonialism.

The film combines original text and movement created by the young people in close collaboration with the experienced creative team. The filming of MONUMENTS took place in December 2020, with cast and crew adhering to government guidelines throughout the shoot.

Michael Longhurst, Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director said “The Donmar’s mission is important stories, thrillingly told, and MONUMENTS is an example of how our artists can do this digitally, even with the restrictions created by the pandemic. I am so inspired by how this young company have explored their own experiences to create a really powerful film.”

MONUMENTS will be available on the Donmar’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/donmarwarehouse from 11am Tuesday 9 February 2021. The film will be captioned and an audio described version will also be available on the same date.

MONUMENTS will be accompanied by a special edition of the Donmar Warehouse podcast exploring the process behind the film and its themes. In this episode Donmar Associate Artist Prasanna Puwanarajah will speak to director Sara Aniqah Malik and company members Alexandra Elliott and Omar Williams about the conversations they had during the devising process. The podcast and an accompanying transcript will be released on Soundcloud on Thursday 11 February.

Through Donmar Local, the Donmar works in its home boroughs of Camden and Westminster to produce work that celebrates the stories and voices of the community and share programmes which use theatre as a way to encourage discussion and debate.

The Donmar Warehouse is a charity, and public funding makes up only 7% of its income. The generous support to-date from ticket-buyers, members, trusts, foundations and corporate partners has enabled it not only to deliver much-loved productions but also to work with thousands of young people and communities each year, to develop industry leading artists and to nurture the next generation of theatre audiences. For the Donmar, audience support is more crucial than ever as they look ahead to how they can sustain the organisation over the coming months. To support the Donmar Warehouse and donate during this difficult time, more information can be found at www.donmarwarehouse.com/support/

Sara Aniqah Malik

Sara is the current Donmar Resident Assistant Director. She is an Associate Director at the Watermill Theatre and is also currently teaching on the Mountview Foundation Acting Course. She is a new director of the Diversity School Initiative and a recipient of the Michael Grandage Award 2019.

Sara trained as a director at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Her recent assistant directing credits include Blindness (Donmar Warehouse + International Tour), Two Trains Running (ETT/UK Tour); Land Without Dreams (Gate Theatre); Nicholas Nickleby (Bristol Old Vic). Her directing credits include: Caliph, SALAAM (VAULT Festival); Antechamber (White Bear); Poison (Wardrobe Theatre).

Nessah Muthy

Nessah Muthy is a multi-award-winning, two times Writer’s Guild-nominated, writer for stage and screen.

For screen, Nessah has written for On The Edge Series III (Blacklight / Channel 4) and her script will shoot in 2020. She currently has a television series idea in development with Character 7, is taking part in the KAOS/Netflix Shadow Writers Scheme led by Charlie Covell and is due to join the Coronation Street writers team in 2020.

For theatre, Nessah is currently under commission to: the Young Vic, Actors Touring Company (ATC), National Youth Theatre, Theatre Centre, The Brit School, Fuel, COMMON, Boundless Theatre and English

Fẹ́mi Awójídé

Fẹ́mi Awójídé has always loved storytelling through images and has refined his understanding of cinematic techniques with influences from the Arts, Photography, Physics and the happy accidents of everyday life.

His core interests are in commercials, narratives and music videos and has worked with brands like Multichoice, Nokia, Reckitt Benckiser and popular afrobeats musicians like Davido and Rema.

Although he now works full-time as a cinematographer, Femi has his first degree in Electronics and Solid States Physics and MSc in Advanced Multimedia Design and 3D Technologies.

With philosophy deeply rooted in a keen observation of everyday life, he is a big believer in collaboration to craft unique creative approaches to bringing a vision to life. Fẹ́mi Awójídé was raised in Lagos but now lives in West-London.

Kane Husbands

Kane Husbands is Artistic Director of The PappyShow theatre company dedicated to diverse approaches to visual narratives, with movement training at the heart of their practice. For the company he has directed BOYS, GIRLS, CARE and Wait til the End. Associate for National Youth Theatre, Squint Theatre and The North Wall. He choreographed the London Olympic, Paralympic and Glasgow Commonwealth Team Welcoming Ceremonies. As movement director he has worked on, Butterfly Lion for Chichester’s Minerva Theatre, Last King of Scotland for Sheffield Crucible, One Night in Miami for Nottingham Playhouse. He continues to work and freelance for National Theatre, Old Vic New Voices, Sheffield Crucible, Rose Bruford College, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, National Youth Theatre, King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, National Theatre Scotland, Kiln Theatre and others. He is currently course leader at University Arts London, Central Saint Martins BA Performance: Design and Practice.

THE MONUMENTS COMPANY

Eugene Adamah

Kezia Augustin

Daniel Brooks-Emem

Alexandra Elliott

Mojahed Mohammed Khair

Mia Lobban

Rhea Paul-Fry

Solyana Samuel

Jada Samuels

Emma Stromberg

Omar Williams

CONCEIVED & DIRECTED BY

Sara Aniqah Malik

WRITTEN BY

Nessah Muthy with the Company

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Fẹ́mi Awójídé

PRODUCED BY

Abíólá Rufai-Awójídé and Phil McCormack

SOUND DESIGNER AND COMPOSER

Xana

MOVEMENT DIRECTOR

Kane Husbands

DRAMATURG

Elayce Ismail

ARTIST MENTOR

Nadia Latif

Given the current global crisis, the Donmar Warehouse feels it is more important than ever that they reach people in the local community and provide them with access to cultural opportunities. Discover is generously funded by the following supporters, all of whom have enabled the Donmar’s work with young people and the local community while the theatre’s doors remain closed.

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