As the first Theatre of Sanctuary in Wales, we are passionate about our relationship with sanctuary seekers living in our local community. In 2021 we worked closely with the One World Choir to compose and record a new song together. Home away from Home celebrates the joy of making music that crosses cultures, languages and generations.
Sherman 5 has a long history of working with Oasis, an organisation supporting asylum seekers and refugees in Cardiff, and in November 2019 we invited the One World Choir to perform at our Theatre of Sanctuary celebration and season launch event.
As part of Refugee Week 2021, Sherman 5 and the choir joined forces to provide an open and interactive online session of sharing songs, dancing together and discussing the Refugee Week theme “We cannot walk alone”. Following the success of this sharing, the Sherman decided to contract two creatives to work with the choir in creating a new song.
During the project Laura Bradshaw, Musical Director for the One World Choir, led a series of online workshops where choir members met to develop lyrics for the new song Home away from Home. The final lyrics were written by four choir members from this workshop group with input from Rahim El Habachi.
Artists Rahim El Habachi and Ëadyth Crawford were engaged by Sherman Theatre to work on the project. Rahim, who is also a One World Choir member, supported the writing of lyrics, whilst Ëadyth worked with the choir as musical composer and writer. Thirteen choir members then recorded the song at Sherman Theatre in August 2021.
Sherman Theatre filmed the recording of the song and made a short documentary film capturing how the song was created.
Choir member (and lyricist) Christianah Ugbaja said:
“Being connected to the choir has really helped me a lot because they are the only family I can really boast that I have. I’ve connected with so many people – both people from Wales, different parts of the world and even people from my country.”
Since recording the song, the One World Choir have been performing Home away from Home at community events, including recently at St German’s Church in Adamsdown. We captured the performance in this beautiful local venue in a documentary film about the making of the song.
In response to the documentary film, Tracy Pallant, the Project Manager for the One World Choir, said:
“Totally, totally fabulous – massive well done to everyone involved in Home away from Home, and you’ve really captured what Oasis One World Choir is all about. Thank you so much for this opportunity.”
Watch the video below and find out more about the Sherman’s status as a Theatre of Sanctuary.