|A Man Like You
| Open: 07/13/16 Close: 07/31/16
Inspired by a real Somali terrorist event, A Man Like You is a conversation between a British hostage, Patrick North, and his Somali captor Abdi, set in a windowless concrete room in Somalia. Elizabeth, North’s wife provides a counter-point to the story, from the Norths’ house in Nairobi. A Man Like You illustrates the world views of two men who come from different circumstances and hold completely different philosophies, which they discuss over the course of North’s captivity of 102 days. They debate good and evil, power and control, who is a terrorist and who is not, and what is God, and in so doing they challenge our own deeply-held views. In a heroic struggle, Abdi and North rarely agree their basic humanity connects them. Can they come to realize they are more alike than they initially believe?
Yudelka Heyer directs a cast of 4, including Jenny Boote, Andrew Clarke, Jeffrey Marc, and Matthew Stannah.
A Man Like You is inspired by the events of 21st September 2013, when Somali men from the terrorist group Al Shabaab opened fire on shoppers at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, killing at least 67. Following the tragic attack, the perpetrators were often referred to as 'animals' and 'inhuman', and indeed it was hard to feel they were anything different when the CCTV footage of them blowing civilians away in cold blood was released. However, the same footage also showed them washing their feet and praying in the aisles of Nakumatt supermarket where most of the victims died. This served as a powerful reminder that although their actions are repulsive, those terrorists and hundreds others like them all over the world have a rationale for their actions, with which the world basically refuses to engage. We do not really want to look inside the mind of a terrorist and properly understand what motivates him; it may be uncomfortable, painful and worse, we may discover that in some ways we even identify with their truth.
About the Company: RED Soil Productions
RED Soil Productions is an African/Caribbean inspired theatre/film company founded by Matthew Stannah (Nairobi, Kenya) and Yudelka Heyer (Dominican Republic). This company’s mission is to showcase new, innovative work that brings about new ways to share vivid stories, in which pain and struggle is brought to life in the form of art. Their goal is to shed light on stories that are not often told, to inspire their audiences and shake them with the vulnerability and truth of each character that is brought to life on the stage/film. Awakening American culture with stories never heard before, stories one could never dream of hearing, stories using raw, real life material uncovered after so many years. RED Soil Productions delves deep into a sacred, misunderstood world that the theatre/film-goer never knew existed. The companies hope is to bring these untouched, unrefined stories of love, heartbreak, bravery, and soul from the writer’s pen to the raw sancrite world we call art.