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Conceived for the stage and directed by Cora Bissett
11 – 26 May 2013, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
4 – 30 June 2013, St. Ann’s Warehouse, New York
11 – 14 September 2013, Carnegie Hall, Fife
20 – 25 September 2013, Dundee Rep
2 – 5 October 2013 The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
- Olivier Award for Best Production in an Affiliate Theatre, 2012
- Fringe First
- Amnesty Award for Freedom of Expression
- Herald Angel
- Total Theatre Award for Innovation
- Edinburgh International Festival Award
- Holden St Theatre Award (Australia)
- Stage Award for Best Actress – Mercy Ojelade
- CATS Award for Best Production
- CATS Award for Best Actress – Mercy Ojelade
In a Benin city, a young girl struggles to support her family. A world away, in an Edinburgh tenement, ‘aunty Martha’ arranges a job and flight for her. Journey with her on the bus that leads to a new life and discover the nightmare reality behind Martha’s promises.
Cora Bissett’s critically acclaimed and urgent production exposing the hidden world of sex trafficking is based on the experiences of a young woman trafficked to Scotland. It was the first production in Edinburgh Festival Fringe history to win every major theatre award .
Presented by Pachamama Productions and Richard Jordan Productions in association with Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.
Roadkill was the launch production of my company Pachamama Productions. It had been in my head for about 6 years and so has been a real labour of love. In a way Pachamama was originally set up in order to let Roadkill exist.
Roadkill was inspired by some time I spent getting to know a young girl in Glasgow who confided in me that she had been trafficked from Africa to Glasgow by an older woman.
Trafficking was an issue I knew a fair bit about, having kept abreast of a series of articles which had appeared in the Scottish press in recent years. But when a young woman quite literally lands on your doorstep, and wakens you with her screams in the night, Trafficking ceases to be an ‘issue’ and becomes about an individual.
I started to do a lot of research on instances of African girls in particular since this relationship between the older ‘madam’ and the younger girl both repulsed yet intrigued me. How could any woman do that to another?
I found it to be alarmingly common across Africa, with women being lured by older, more experienced and ‘glamorous’ women who would promise them wealth and education across a variety of European countries.
I spoke to The Scottish Refugee Council who knew of similar instances, Amnesty International and various human rights and anti-trafficking organisations across Scotland and the UK.
I travelled to London to meet with people who run the ‘Poppy Project’ there. This provides a safe house for women who are supported in escaping their traffickers, and supports them through the minefield of immigration legislation which then ensues.
I had fortuitous meetings with women working in the legal sector in Europe who are at the helm of anti-trafficking legislation; I travelled to Italy to interview an incredible organisation there called ‘On The Road’ who work directly with the thousands of African women who line the sides of the dual carriageways, who have all been tricked in the same way, thinking a bright future lay ahead of them.
And so Roadkill evolved gradually as an amalgamation of many girl’s stories, inspired by one.
Photography by Andrew Wilson & Tim Morozzo
CREATIVE TEAM | Directed by Cora Bissett | Text by Stef Smith | Assistant Director/Sound Artist, Harry Wilson | Designed by Jess Brettle | Digital Media Artist, Kim Beveridge | Animation Artist, Marta Mackova | Lighting Design by Paul Sorley
CAST 2013 Scottish Tour; Nicky Elliott, Lashana Lynch, Faith Omole. Original cast; John Kazek, Mercy Ojelade, Adura Onashile, )
- Audience response to Roadkill
- Fringe hit Roadkill returns for tour with new cast – The Scotman
- GALLERY: Roadkill
- New cast for Roadkill’s Scottish tour
- Reviews for Roadkill in New York
- Taking Audiences on an Unsettling Ride – New York Times feature
- Reviews for Roadkill in Chicago
- Criss Henderson blogs about Roadkill for British Council
- Roadkill to return to Scotland in 2013
- Cora contributes to Critical Mass
- Roadkill heads to Chicago in 2013
- Roadkill heads to New York next summer for US premiere – The Guardian
- Roadkill wins Affiliate Olivier
- Reviews for Roadkill