As part of Good Chance Theatre's extraordinary project The Walk, we proudly welcomed Little Amal, a 3.5m puppet of a 10-year-old refugee girl travelling from the Syria-Turkey border to Manchester. All were invited to come and see Amal on Friday 29 October and take part in the free community activities on her journey through Sheffield.
Activities, performances and displays were coordinated throughout the day in partnership with The University of Sheffield and Off The Shelf, Sheffield Hallam University, Canal and Rivers Trust, DINA, Globalmama, One World Choir, Stand & Be Counted Theatre, and City of Sanctuary, and supported by Sheffield City Council and Yellow Bus Events. Amal was also gifted with contributions and performances from Sheffield People’s Theatre, Tin Soldiers, Juwon Ogungbe, Patrick Amber and Nisha Lall Dance.
Amal’s visit to Sheffield began with a journey by barge up the canal, arriving at Victoria Quays for a celebratory welcome by Stand & Be Counted Theatre company, alongside Canal and River Trust's free family-friendly activities, live music, arts and crafts, canoeing and more. Amal then arrived in Tudor Square for sunset. The square was decorated with Quotes for Hope: warming messages in different languages created by a community engagement project, led by DINA, Sheffield Theatres and Off The Shelf. Amal danced with Sheffield People’s Theatre before woodland creature lanterns led her to the Peace Gardens, where she conducted the Tin Soldiers brass band and watched and extraordinary firework display.
Throughout the afternoon, there were free creative workshops in Tudor Square, where families could make joyful and welcoming messages, build lanterns, bake bread and much more.
Little Amal was crafted by the highly acclaimed Handspring Puppet Company (War Horse). Amal is the figurehead of the travelling festival of art and hope in support of refugees. To look back at Little Amal's journey, follow her on social media @WalkWithAmal.
Photos by Becky Payne Photography.