Hannah and Hanna in Dreamland
Written and directed by John Retallack.
Summer 1999. Margate’s beaches are packed with day-trippers…. and its hotels filled with Kosovan asylum seekers – including Hanna (Celia Meiras), a survivor of Europe’s most recent genocide. Hannah (Lisa Payne) is from Margate and bored with life in the rundown seaside town – hanging out with her boyfriend Bull and his racist mates. The only things the two sixteen-year-olds have in common are their names and their love of singing along to their favourite pop songs….
Sixteen years later, Hanna returns to Margate – this time in search of a Syrian girl she befriended in Kosovo and who may have succeeded in getting across the Channel. The Calais “Jungle” is close…. attempts by its residents to reach England fill the local media. Hanna hopes her young friend will be welcome in Margate, but although the town has changed, hostility remains.
Just as in 1999, Hanna’s arrival turned Hannah’s life upside down, so her return takes the friends on a journey which Hannah from Margate would not have thought possible.
Hannah and Hanna in Dreamland builds on John Retallack’s award-winning earlier play, Hannah and Hanna, which has been performed extensively both nationally and internationally.
Hannah and Hanna in Dreamland’ produced by UK Arts International, Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts and The Marlowe Canterbury in association with Theatre Royal Margate, Folkestone Quarterhouse and Looping the Loop.
The development of Hannah and Hanna in Dreamland has been supported by Arts Council England, House, Thanet District Council and The Marlowe Roar programme. The 2018 production is supported by Arts Council England and Kent County Council.