it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now

by Lucy Kirkwood1
"I know exactly how much I am worth.
I am worth 1000 Euros because that is how much Babac paid for me.
To put in easy language, that is like two-and-a-half iPhones."

Hamilius underground passageway
Opening night: 22 October 2014

A debate on human trafficking and forced prostitution
is organised on 6 November at the "CID-FEMMES".

Dijana Polancec has it all mapped out: work hard, save harder, buy that ticket to England and live in the land of plenty. Then she meets Babac and thinks she's hit it big time - boyfriend, baby, London pad. As Dijana goes from perpetrator to victim, her life starts to take a turn she would have never envisaged. It felt empty... navigates through Dijana's dreams and nightmares. Her path crosses with Gloria's, a feisty Nigerian battling a downward spiral of her own. Infused with Dijana and Gloria's dry humour, the play pieces together the stories of these two women, cutting back and forth in time, to examine a human life's price tag in today's consumer society.

In keeping with the collective's innovative approach to theatre-making, MASKéNADA presents its first English-language production, a seminal piece by award-winning playwright Lucy Kirkwood in a site-specific production, set in the capital's iconic Hamilius underground passageway.

It is miles away from the chandeliers of the Grand Théâtre or the artiness of the Théâtre National. (...) What sounds like an awfully depressing tale of exploitation and sex-trafficking becomes, in fact, an engrossing portrait of one woman's journey. (...) Larisa Faber's stunning performance pulses with energy. (...) It felt empty ... may not be for the faint-hearted, but it is a big issue play that is bound to impress and disturb. A show not to be missed.
(d'Lëtzebuerger Land)

The company and director Rafael Kohn's decision to stage the piece in an abandoned shop in the now desolate and scarred Hamilius Underground Passageway is inspired.(...) Fictional but based-on-real-life tragedy is thus viewed side-by-side with genuine tragedy. (...) Separately and together, Faber and Acheampong create theatrical magic. (...) They are impossible characters to forget. (...) it is the craft of these tremendous actresses that make the playwright's words sing and bite.
(Luxemburger Wort)

Maskénada's penchant for site-specific theatre has hardly been more apt.

Dijana: Larisa Faber
Gloria: JacQueline Acheampong
Director: Rafael David Kohn
Music: Serge Tonnar
Makeup and costumes: Joël Seiller
Visuals: Misch Feinen
Production management: Dani Jung

1 First produced by Clean Break Theatre Company in association with Arcola Theatre and first performed at the Arcola Theatre on 7 October 2009