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What happens when a sinking boatful of Vietnamese refugees seek shelter on an international oil-rig in a storm on the South China seas? This is the story of two teenage sweethearts who suddenly have to grow up very quickly.
Parasol Productions in association with Workin Process presents
Based on two true-life stories, Rice Harvest follows the escape and rescue of Vietnamese refugees by an unlikely hero – Bill, the diving captain of an offshore oilrig. This new musical provides a vision of hope against a background of desperate circumstances.
Mekong Delta, South Vietnam. 1979.
In 1978, writer Keith Hale met Vietnamese boat children when someone had the bright idea of using them on the album his band, Blood Donor, were recording. Temporarily housed in nearby Kensington Barracks, the story of the children’s escape and voyage was incredible and inspired a batch of songs which were demo’d at various stages. While the band were dropped by their record company, Rice Harvest was released as a single in 1979.
In 1991, Keith revisited the material and envisaged it as a musical, adding more songs. 21 years later, Rice Harvest was performed at Fairfield Halls by a 300-piece children’s choir with orchestra. There, Keith met Hong Dam, a video artist and herself a “Boat Person”, which in turn led to meeting Al Dibbs, who was instrumental in saving the lives of hundreds of refugees when their boat capsized in the South China sea.
This was a story that needed to be told, and it fitted nicely with much of the musical material already written. He enlisted the help of William Dashwood, with whom Keith has collaborated on many projects in the past. As the story developed, more songs were added to help the narrative.
For four years, writers Keith Hale and William Dashwood have been passionately dedicated to the development of this production, becoming all the more timely after recent events in Syria and the Mediterranean. The theme of Rice Harvest has become even more topical and relevant to the plight of refugees and the countries in which they seek sanctuary.
18th November 7:30pm
Tickets :£15 (£12.50 seniors, £10 students)
Age Reccomendation: 5+