Queen’s Theatre’s young company Cut2 to perform moving story of teens fleeing North Korea

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 February 2018

In-Sook Chappell's TheFree9 is based on a true story.

In-Sook Chappell's TheFree9 is based on a true story.


Young performers will be bringing a topical and challenging story about teenagers fleeing North Korea to life in Upminster.

Cut2, the Queen’s Theatre’s young company will be performing The Free9 at Thames Chase Forest Centre, Pike Lane, as part of the National Theatre Connections 2018.

In-Sook Chappell’s play, The Free9, is about hope, escape and cultural difference and it’s based on a true story.

Chloe Stylianou, 14, plays the role of Mini.

She told the Recorder: “The audience can expect to feel a rollercoaster of emotions which ranges from happiness, joy, outrage and may even bring you to tears.

“It is hard to imagine a life in North Korea which juxtaposes our own lives.

“We have to put in a lot of our passion and compassion because we want to be truthful and respectful to those inside North Korea.”

The play begins with nine teenagers who are fleeing North Korea and dreaming of a new life in the South.

With threats around every corner, they wonder if the mysterious figure, the Big Brother can help them.

As their lives hang in the balance, the teeangers’ fate may ultimately come down to a garish South Korean game show.

“Having the opportunity to work on a National Theatre Connections play has been an empowering and joyous experience,” said Chloe.

“Every company member has progressed, faced demanding expectations and stepped out of our personal comfort zones.

“We are a diverse group who are all passionate about making theatre.”

Audience members are recommended to wrap up warm as the performance takes place inside a barn.

Speaking about the unique staging of the play, Chloe said: “It is important because we want to create a dark and tense atmosphere which the audience can be immersed and engaged in.

“We want to transform the cold, dark and historical barn into a vibrant space where the story of The Free9 can come to life.”

Performances will take place at 7pm on Friday, February 16 and Saturday, February 17 at 3pm and 7pm.

Tickets are £10 and can be purchased by calling the Queen’s Theatre’s Box Office on 01708 443333.

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