A West Yorkshire Playhouse Production

Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy

Friday 28 March at 11am & 7.45pm and Saturday 29 March at 7.45pm

Theatre - Tickets: £9 - £13 (£36 Family Ticket)



Alem is fourteen, in London with his father on the best holiday he has ever had, only then the unthinkable happens, he awakes to find himself alone, a stranger in an unfamiliar country. Overnight he has become a refugee. As a violent civil war rages back home, Alem’s Ethiopian father and Eritrean mother make the heartbreaking decision to leave him in London, on his own but hopefully safe at last.

Guided by the Refugee Council and social services, Alem’s new life brings with it new challenges – from court hearings to children’s homes to life changing friendships and loving foster families. Amidst this turmoil Alem determines to take control, to transcend his refugee label, to become Alem Kelo – an African, a Peacemaker and no longer just a Refugee Boy.

Refugee Boy brings together the work of two of the UK’s most prolific and revered poets, Benjamin Zephaniah and Lemn Sissay, in a heartbreaking and hilarious production that pulses with energy, love, loss and hope.


£13 (£11 Concessions, £9 Schools)
£36 Family Ticket

The Mehraba Welcome is an opportunity to find out more and welcome some of Nottingham’s Refugee, Asylum Seeker and New Communities. Storytelling, music, visual art and delicious cultural food samples courtesy of the Women’s Cultural Exchange plus a performance from the Word Jam collective.

FREE – first come first-served, no tickets required.

On the bill confirmed so far:

  1. Jane Brierly, Nottingham City Library will share an extract from Refugee Boy and another book about Ethiopia
  2. Performance from NNRF youth group
  3. Theatre Director, Susannah Tresilian, will give a short presentation on Female Theatre Makers in (Post War) Conflict Zones.
  4. Word Jam collective will do a performance set of story and poetry and music.
  5. Open-mic for you to get involved
    Organisations representing migrants and refugees will be supporting the event with a stall with information.

Dates & Times

Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy - Fri 28 Mar 11:00am Fri 28 Mar Theatre 11:00am £9 - £13
Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy - Fri 28 Mar 7:45pm Fri 28 Mar Theatre 7:45pm £9 - £13
Benjamin Zephaniah’s Refugee Boy - Sat 29 Mar 7:45pm Sat 29 Mar Theatre 7:45pm £9 - £13


For all the darkness, Sissay weaves in poetry, laughter and, as the sky beyond the ruins clears to starlight, moments of awe.

The Times – 4 stars

Gail McIntyre’s pacy and impressively seamless production

The Guardian – 4 stars


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