a true story set in music
by Mario Borciani e Anna Zapparoli
Farid is not only a show and that has been performed in the prestigious Teatro Out Off in Milan - it is a workshop project. It started in 2013 as a collaboration with the Milan Conservatorio G. Verdi as two separate workshops on musical theatre - one for young music students and one for children and teenagers who train in singing and acting.
The play is based on the true story of Farid, whom Anna Zapparoli personally met and interviewed in 2010 in England where he was living at the time.
Farid was at school in 1998, when his family was exterminated during the Mazar-i-Sharif massacre. A friend of the family, a carpet merchant, took care of him - he saved his life, but forced him in a cellar for 4 years, weaving carpets. His elder sister, the only surviving member of his family, found him and sold all family property to get him to a free country - through a snakehead agent, who promised a luxury voyage to England in exchange for 18000 dollars.
Needless to say, his journey was not to be luxurious. Farid travelled, monitored via mobile phone by the agent, through Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy and France, in the most terrible conditions - walking for miles at night in the freezing cold, hanging under a truck, hiding in train toilets, paying corrupt policemen, almost drowning in the Evros river and - finally - jumping onto a Channel Tunnel train from a bridge. The journey took years, but Farid has made it. He has become a British citizen after a few years and now works at Pizza Hut.
If Brecht were alive, we believe nobody could tell this story better than him, using music as he often did in his plays - the writing is deeply inspired by his didactic theatre, and therefore can be appreciated by a young audience (from 10 years of age).
Farid was originated as a workshop with children, and for this reason the first performances included 8 different children playing the part, progressing from the youngest Farid, played by an 8 year old, to the oldest, played by an adult.
The story is told and sung collectively by all the actors.
At a time when European policies are often blind to immigration issues, and Italian and European laws forbid fishermen to give help to migrants drowning in the sea at Lampedusa, we feel it is important to tell this story, concerning all European countries - and we particularly believe in the strong educational potential of working on it with young people. The result of our workshop at the Conservatorio has been astonishing for all of us working on the project because of the degree of awareness the children achieved.
Farid can be offered in two forms:
1) Workshop + show
Farid started in 2013 as a collaboration with the Milan Conservatorio G. Verdi as two separate workshops on musical theatre - one for young music students and one for children and teenagers who train in singing and acting. We feel that working with young people on the subject of emigration, using theatre and music as a means of narration, has a very strong impact on them: it gives a very special insight on the matter.
That's why we want to recreate the experience we had in Milan in other contexts, in other countries, in collaboration with theatres, drama schools and music schools in a joint venture.
Farid has already been produced as a show. It can be performed in theatres by 5 adult actors, a child actor, two musicians and a sound/light technician.