AN AWARD-Winning Work-in-Progress

Arts Council England logo

‘At the Heart of ASTRA’ is a five minute, forty second video documentary on the making of the multimedia theatre piece ASTRA, featuring footage of table-top and shadow puppets designed and built by Raven Kaliana, and interviews with (in order of appearance) writer/producer Naomi Foyle, director/puppet maker Raven Kaliana, theatre critic Simon Jenner, puppeteer Gun Suen, voice actress/singer Susanna Paisio, puppeteer Sara Guedes, voice actor Cornelia Colman and Community Outreach Officer Ümit Öztürk. An Arts Council England funded production.

 Author Naomi Foyle, director Raven Kaliana, dramaturg Hassan Mahamdallie and composer/theatre artist Mo’min Swaitat have teamed together to create ASTRA ‒ a multimedia theatre production for adults based on Naomi Foyle’s eco-sci-fi quartet The Gaia Chronicles. ASTRA premiered at BRIGHTON FRINGE 2022 as a research-and-development project and won the ONCA Green Curtain Award for work that engages artists and audiences with social and environmental challenges.

ASTRA was also shared live at Chichester Fringe (3 Jul 2022) and a Neighbourhood Sharing at Brighthelm Centre (12 Jun 2022), Brighton. Our Online Industry Sharing (1 Jul 2022) was attended by international theatre artists including our International Theatre Consultant Peter Hinton-Davis OC

BSL Interpretation and Audio Description are integrated into this fully accessible production.  All Sharings followed with Post-Show Discussions on the powerful themes of the play, including racism, disability activism, child abuse and climate catastrophe. 

SEE the show

ASTRA will be performed again at UpFront Puppet Theatre, Cumbria (Sept 11th 2022, Tickets Available Soon). 

If you are a theatre professional and would like to see a film of the show, please email info@astratheatre.earth for more details.

Poster Design for ASTRA. Image shows a puppet of a pensive, dark-skinned child in front of a wild hedge and a blank sky emblazoned with a mysterious red icon. Text reads: Astra's people snatched a green homeland from the chaos of global eco-collapse. When her scientist mother reveals a daark scret, Astra is thrust on a cosmic quest to heal her broken brother and their toxic world.

The universe of Astra

Set in a post-apocalyptic Mesopotamia, this visually rich and thought-provoking play for adults features a wilful young heroine, Astra Ordott.  A bisexual teenager of mixed heritage, Astra introduces us to the sustainable innovations of an eco-paradise – Is-Land, her beloved homeland – reclaimed from global disaster through great coordination and effort.  The suspicious death of a family member, however, exposes sinister truths about Astra’s world, shattering her beliefs and forcing her to take a new view of the Non-Landers – destitute but determined refugees living across the border in a nuclear wasteland.


Click on the green ‘hotspots’ to explore Is-Land! 

Community Forum

The live play was performed in the summer of 2022 as a work-in-progress, each followed by a Community Forum of invited guests from disadvantaged communities and grassroots organisations affected by issues raised by the piece: climate change, refugee rights, cultural diversity and inclusion, disability rights, sexual violence, child abuse, LGBT+ rights, and equality.  Intended to inspire ideas for moving forward from the Covid pandemic, the post-show discussions asked: how do we address social justice issues while mitigating the impact of the Climate Emergency as we rebuild?  The performances and discussions were also open to paying members of the public, providing further opportunity to build coalition and cross-pollinate ideas. 

The online Industry Sharing  was also followed by an audience discussion, giving participants a chance to help develop a post-pandemic resurgence of innovative and socially engaged theatre practice in the UK, and to exchange ideas with international colleagues.

Feedback from the Forums and the Sharing has helped the ASTRA creative team improve the show and develop community engagement around the issues it raises.

Or is Astra’s home community in the Dry Forest, Is-Land. Click on the green ‘hotspots’ to explore! 

British Sign Language Interpreter Sumayya Si-Tayeb signing in front of a puppet screen showing disabled people dancing at a rave. In the background, puppeteers Gun Suen, Sara Guedesh and Raven Kaliana operate table-top puppets.


With Us!

Collaboration, diversity and inclusion are values at the heart of the vision of ASTRA. The production promotes diversity and challenges ablism with the use of inclusive casting and a creative approach to access.  The storyline presents a narrative arc that moves toward a global society based on peace, justice and human rights. If you are part of a Charity, Community Group or Educational Institution (16+), and would like to arrange a screening of the film + Q&A for your members; or if you are a theatre professional who would like to see the film in relation to booking the show or otherwise working with us, please contact us at info@astratheatre.earth

Contact us

    * Required fields.

    THANk you to our sponsors

    Logos of ASTRA's sponsors: Arts Council England, University of Chichester, Brighton and Hove Pride/Culture ConneX, EuroMernet, Chichester Fringe, Brighton Fringe, urbanflo creative,VocalEyes, Deaf Rave, Little Angel Theatre, Jo Fletcher Books, Play for Progress, Ironworks Studios, Brighthelm Centre, the Muslim Institute
    Scroll to Top