The play focuses on Crystal, a young Gypsy girl who has been bullied at school. Desperate to get away she leaves home with her Grandfather’s vardo and pony only to find herself lost and miles from anywhere familiar. She has not no choice but to put her trust in the audience to help her find her way back.
As Crystal begins to tell the story of her ancestors, something extraordinary happens and Crystal and her companions find themselves far back in time, when the first Gypsies migrated from Northern India. By piecing together the shards of her ancestry, she regains a new confidence in her own identity, whilst raising the awareness of her new friends.
The play unfolds employing traditional storytelling and music; the audience are also invited to participate.
Crystal’s Vardo was written in response to the continued problems of discrimination and bullying faced by young Travellers. It is an excellent resource for schools to help tackle these issues and to teach the settled community about the history and culture of Gypsies and Travellers and in turn building a sense of pride in Traveller children and their rich heritage.
Praise for Crystal’s Vardo
The Mayor of Brighton and Hove Pete West: ‘We saw Crystal’s Vardo tonight – a powerful aid to understanding the rich heritage of Gypsy, Roma & Traveller people, and shocking reminder of the prejudice and persecution they have suffered through the ages – prejudice they sadly still face today. The play finishes on the positive idea of a future prime minister coming from traveller stock. Thank you FFT, and everyone behind this amazing, inspiring production.’
The Argus, Brighton: ‘Despite the gravity of the themes there was a great deal of sympathetic humour in the script, and Crystal’s boisterous character kept the mood light. Historically accurate, detailed, well-researched and not too long to lose the interest of the children, the resultant production was educational yet thoughtful. Though clearly moralistic with a strong message, the play remained humorous and warm, ending with emotional appreciation. The more children get to see plays like this, the greater the chance that unfairness towards Travellers and Gypsies will come to an end.’