On Friday the 29th of October, Sheffield had a very special guest in the city. Amal, a 3.5-metre tall puppet of a young refugee, came to Sheffield as part of her ‘walk’ from Turkey to the UK. The Walk, the international festival, was created by ‘Good Chance’ and included collaborations from international theatre companies who joined her and celebrated along with her.
I had the honour of working with Stand and Be Counted, who specialise in inclusive and positive change theatre. I helped supervise their group’s final rehearsal which was the welcoming performance for Amal. As the performance was done by young children it was really touching and emotional to see them dance and shout to welcome Amal to the city.
As well as this we got a really close-up performance space to where Amal was coming in. This gave a great view of Amal coming on the barge at Victoria Quays. This is where a very touching moment happened, as Amal leaned down to one of the children in the welcoming performance and they held hands for a brief moment. It was so heartwarming seeing such a large puppet and a small child have such an intimate moment in a large crowd.
The entire day was so magical and inspirational to see so many people get involved in Amal’s passing through the city. With lots of family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained and excited for her arrival and to end the day with fireworks and dancing was just amazing!