Out Of The Woods: New plays from the Balkans

Fresh, funny and provocative audio dramas by a new generation of Balkan writers

A Miran Hadžić production supported by Tamasha and Intent New Theatre

From a history of turbulence and civil war, the Balkans is a region waking up to the opportunities of independence, with youthful and creative populations creating a vibrant present. Travel restrictions have limited the possibilities for citizens in the region to live and work in the rest of Europe. But art and cultural festivals are flourishing and Balkan writers have tales to tell about the past, present and future.

OUT OF THE WOODS is the latest development, riding the wave of the podcast revolution to bring Balkan stories to a wider audience, online. These fresh, funny and provocative new audio dramas showcase a new generation of writers from a region carving out its own identity, and eager to tell its own stories.

Series one is inspired by Kosovo, a majority muslim country and the newest state in Europe.

 

On Kosovo Field by Fin Kennedy, music by PJ Harvey

This 75-minute drama tells the story of two Kosovan-born, Manchester-raised siblings, Dardan and Rebeka, who fled their homeland as unaccompanied child refugees in the 1990s. When a mass grave is uncovered close to their old village, they return to the country for the first time as young adults, to see if they can finally solve the mystery of what happened to their parents. Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4, On Kosovo Field features original songs by PJ Harvey, whose travels and notebooks from time spent in Kosovo inspired writer Fin Kennedy to follow in her footsteps. Kennedy donated his fee from the project to fund new work by new writers from the region, which directly led to the OUT OF THE WOODS audio dramas. 

Fifth Dimension by Miran Hadžić

Tom is a one-time popular musician who is now making radio jingles for a living. He wants to join his German wife and daughter, who have left the UK after it has become a hostile environment for non-English people. But when Tom is commissioned by the government to write a new national anthem, he becomes trapped between two worlds and has to find a way out… 

Writer Miran Hadžić was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina but was raised in London. He visited Kosovo to work with acclaimed composer Trimor Dhomi on this 45-minute dark satire on a dystopian UK.

Where is Mr President? by Agnesa Mehanolli 

When the President of Kosovo fails to appear at a large Independence Day rally, his senior officials go into overdrive to try to locate him. As time ticks on, a power vacuum emerges which neither the Prime Minister nor Head of Parliament are prepared to fill. Instead, to prevent widespread unrest, they appoint the most unlikely of candidates… A hilarious new satire from Pristina-based new writer Agnesa Mehanolli.

Nude by Ulpianë Maloku

A proud middle-aged mother takes her best friend to a landmark exhibition by her artist son Guri, whose painting career is starting to take off. Kosovo’s latest art sensation specialises in contemporary nudes, but neither woman is prepared for what they find when they finally see Guri’s paintings for themselves… A quirky comedy from Pristina-based writer Ulpianë Maloku.


Counterpoint Arts’ Refugee Week: 17-20 June

OUT OF THE WOODS premieres at Counterpoint Arts’ Refugee Week as a series of free ‘listening parties’ online, followed by post-show panels with the creative teams. To see the line-up and to book your seat to an event, scroll up and hit the DATES tab above.


Funded by Arts Council England

Dates

On Kosovo Field by Fin Kennedy

Online from 7pm

17 Jun

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Fifth Dimension by Miran Hadžić

Online from 7pm

19 Jun

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Where is Mr President? by Agnesa Mehanolli & Nude by Ulpianë Maloku

Online from 5pm

20 Jun

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On Kosovo Field

Writer Fin Kennedy

Songs & music composed and performed by PJ Harvey

Sound design Steve Brooke

Director Nadia Molinari

Cast Nico Mirallegro, Michelle Keegan, Nebli Basani, Rosella Doda, Jon Lolis, Sokol Cahani, Eri Shuka, Nikolaos Brahimllari, Edita Sllamniku

Fifth Dimension

Writer Miran Hadžić  @HadzicMiran

Songs and music composed and performed by Trimor Dhomi

Sound design Farokh Soltani

Director Mingyu Lin

Cast Nimshi Kongolo, Daniel York Loh, Sara Houghton, Susie Hingley, Comfort Fabian, Halema Hussain

Where is Mr President?

Writer Agnesa Mehanolli

Music and sound design Farokh Soltani

Director Mingyu Lin

Cast Edita Sllamniku, Nikolaos Brahimllari, Eri Shuka, Timotei Cobeanu

Nude

Writer Ulpianë Maloku

Music and sound design Farokh Soltani

Director Mingyu Lin

Cast Edita Sllamniku, Nikolaos Brahimllari, Eri Shuka, Timotei Cobeanu

Out Of The Woods – Stories, Identity and Agency

Blog post by Fin Kennedy

Read now