Aisha is on the run. Forced to flee her village and give birth to her baby girl in the Sahara, she crosses the globe in search of shelter. But to find it, she must overcome the terrible cruelties of nature and man.

An epic new legend for the 21st century, created from extraordinary true stories from around the world and woven together with stunning video and a specially commissioned live score.

BFT turn their unflinching eye towards the global issue of man-made destruction, creating a contemporary folk tale for a globalised world.


Age Guidance 12+ (scenes of a distressing nature)



‘We are prodded, provoked and moved by poetic beauty and theatrical aestheticism, but also forced to open our eyes and ears to worlds beyond our own.’ Horizon Arts Magazine

‘While looking at their own experience, company has a knack of making us look at ourselves.’ The Guardian

‘A profoundly unsettling and uncompromising show.’ What’s One Stage

‘Mesmerizing, ethereal and unapologetically beautiful.’ Theatre Bubble

‘A thought-provoking production that should shame us all.’ British Theatre Guide

‘The company is at its best in physical theatre.’ The Flaneur


Tweets from our audience… 

Bridgette @bridgetteadela ’#RedForest by @BFreeTheatre is beautifully put together and painful to walk away from. Its a show that will resonate. @youngvictheatre

Sian Davila @siandavila ’@BFreeTheatre #RedForest thought provoking and ultimately unafraid to speak the truth.’

Adele Jayne Harris @adelyjayne ’Red Forest, @BFreeTheatre at @youngvictheatre - incredible. Seen nothing like it before, emotionally captivating and hard hitting. #nowords

Jennifer Holman @JENNIFERHOLMAN3 ’Saw the most awesome, brilliant, harrowing production @youngvictheatre, Red Forest performed by the wonderful, talented and brave @BFreeTheatre‘ 

Alex Farrow ‏@alexjamesfarrow ‘Beautiful images, excellent stage craft & harrowing physicality. A complex tackling of environmental refugees. #RedForest @youngvictheatre



Devised and performed by Belarus Free Theatre

A Belarus Free Theatre and Young Vic co-production, commissioned by LIFT and Melbourne International Festival


Performers, devisers and contributors:

Pavel Haradnitski

Kiryl Kanstantsinau

Michal Keyamo

Stephanie Pan

Francesco Petruzzelli

Jeremy Proulx

Maryia Sazonava

Nastassia Shcherbak

Philippe Spall

Andrei Urazau

Eleanor Westbrook


Additional contributors:

Viktoriya Biran

Siarhei Kvachonak

Josh Coates

Franziska Haberlach

Patrick Walshe McBride


Direction, Script and Stage Design: Nicolai Khalezin

Executive Producer and Co-Writer: Natalia Kaliada


Composer and Musician: Arkadiy Yushin

Second Composer and Musician: Ignatius Sokal

Producer and Dramaturg: Fenella Dawnay

Video and Lighting Designer: Andrew Crofts

Sound Designer: David Gregory

Movement and Rehearsal Director: Bridget Fiske

Movement Co-Director: Maryia Sazonava

Dress Design and Additional Music: Stephanie Pan

Stage Manager: Svetlana Sugako

Assistant Director: Nadia Brodskaya


Translation: Allaksandr Charniakovich, Ignatius Sokal, Sasha Padziarei, Sasha Plaige, Daniella Kaliada, Yuri Kaliada


Research Teams:

Australia, Nigeria, Bangladesh and India: Bridget Fiske and Andrew Crofts

Brazil and Morocco: Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin

Belarus (zones contaminated by Chernobyl): Viktoriya Biran, Pavel Haradnitski and Andrei Irazai

South Dakota, USA: Arkadi y Yushin

Morecambe Bay: Josh Coates

Trywern Valley, St Kilda, Maldives and Syria: Patrick Walsh McBride

Somerset: Eleanor Westbrook

Syria, Iraq and Sri Lanka: Franziska Haberlach


Developed with the support of Falmouth University’s Academy of Music and Theatre Arts (AMATA) and devised at their facilities in Cornwall.


Presented as part of LIFT 2014, as part of the Imagine 2020 network, supported by the EU Cultural Programme.


Supported by Grants for the Arts (Arts Council England), Eranda Foundation, Fritt Ord, Gulbenkian Foundation UK, The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Leche Trust , Unity Theatre Trust, The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation