So, what’s home? As the era of post- Brexit Britain looms large, that question has never been more pertinent… That’s the question Ana, a young Croatian woman, poses as she settles in the UK.
Pepper and Honey was the UK’s first ‘European’ theatre piece to tour the UK as it prepared to leave the European Union.
Written by a Croatian playwright and performed by a Croatian actor, Pepper and Honey is a poignant, subtle and timely play about the journey of change, cultural differences, trying not to feel like a foreigner in your adopted country and the conflict between upholding the traditions of the ‘old country’ and embracing those of the new.
Ana has been on a journey. Croatian born, she’s arrived in the UK, determined to make it home. As she focuses on life in this new land, she is haunted by the voice of her Grandma- calling for her to stay true to national identity and yearning for Ana to come home. But what is now ‘home’ to Ana? A play of love, loss, culture, heritage and new beginnings…?
Playwright, Kristina Gavran, said: “I feel this piece had to be written now because there is much that divides people at the minute, and this piece seeks to do exactly the opposite: leaving and returning, making home away from home and making or breaking traditions is not narrowly connected only to immigration issues. It is intrinsic to the world we all know, where people move for work, university and love. However, people are now listening with a lot of anticipation, so I feel this is time to tell these stories.”
Of working with Kristina on this piece, Artistic Director of Notnow Collective and performer in Pepper and Honey, Tina Hofman, said: “We are two Croatian women who have come to UK in two very different political periods for Croatia and UK, and with that, had a very different experience of travel, mobility and immigration. Twenty years ago, Croatians needed a visa for entering UK, whilst after 2013 we were able to enter in the same queue as any EU national. Both of us have committed to a life and making home and forming strong community bonds here. We are raising our multicultural families here in the Midlands. The questions of what and where is home, and cultural identity are so exciting and alive in our family discussions, with all the riches of our chosen life paths, and our children’s complex and exciting heritage. I am thrilled to be taking Pepper and Honey on tour and sharing true Croatian experiences with a huge range of audiences.”
Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “Arts and culture can help us connect with each other and the places where we live, and I’m pleased that our funding from the National Lottery is supporting Notnow Collective to bring new work to new audiences.
“Ana’s journey from Croatia to the UK explores universal themes of family and belonging, through words, theatre and live baking, and I hope Pepper and Honey will help more people feel inspired by the human stories that connect us all.”
Pepper and Honey premiered at Derby Theatre in Spring 2019 to critical acclaim, before opening the Voila! Europe Festival in London and embarking on an Autumn tour.
Since Covid, Pepper and Honey has enjoyed a Digital premier and is now looking forward to a Spring 2022 tour.
Tina said: “So far Pepper and Honey has received an incredible response from audiences and critics alike, and we are looking forward to taking the show across the UK in 2022. Whilst we are now dealing with the aftermath of the UK leaving the European Union, we are still yet to find out the impact this will have on Europeans calling the UK ‘home’, Pepper and Honey is still so timely.”
28th February The Dukes, Lancaster
2nd March Saltburn Arts, Saltburn by the Sea
4th March ArtsReach, Nether Compton Village, Sherborne, Dorset
5th March ArtsReach, Briantspuddle Village Hall, Dorchester
10th March Curve, Leicester
11th March Creative Arts East, Kettlestone Village Hall & Hockwald Entertainments, Norfolk
15th March The Core, Solihull, West Midlands
18th March Ashcroft Arts, Fareham, Hampshire
22nd March Chapter Arts, Cardiff
25th March The Astor, Deal, Kent
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