By Jon Austin
THE plight of families facing eviction from Dale Farm traveller site will be raised by three actresses on a Paris theatre stage.
Kika Markham, widow of Four Weddings and a Funeral actor Corin Redgrave, Anna Carteret, 68, police inspector Kate Longton in Eighties cop show Juliet Bravo, and Argentinian actress Stella Maris, will take part in a special show.
The actresses will perform Romany songs, poetry and theatre, at Theatre de l’Opprime (Theatre of the Oppressed) on Sunday.
The performance is to raise international awareness about the looming eviction of up to 96 families from Crays Hill, taking place at a human rights festival.
Kika, 70, who has featured in Lynda La Plante’s Trial and Retribution and the BBC’s Waking the Dead, will read the emotional speech given by her late husband to Basildon councillors, in the Towngate Theatre in June 2005, when he attempted to get them to vote against the eviction.
The three will also sing Djelem Djelem, the Roma national anthem.
Mr Redgrave collapsed from a heart attack during the speech, before being resuscitated at Basildon Hospital.
He continued to keep an interest in the situation at Dale Farm, until his death last April, aged 70.
Kika said they hoped to give a repeat performance of the show in south Essex, in support of the travellers.
She said: “We are doing a performance on the persecution faced by Roma people in France, in Europe, as well as at Dale Farm.
“We will talk about Dale Farm, video footage of evictions will be played as well as newspaper reports read out.
“I will read out Corin’s speech, when he had a heart attack in Basildon.”
Video footage of the 2004 clearance of families by Chelmsford Council – including some now at Dale Farm – from the Meadow-lands site, near Little Waltham, will be aired to show what is likely to happen in Crays Hill if the eviction goes ahead.
Kika said there was a growing tide of oppression of Roma and traveller people across Europe.
She claimed it recalled the atmosphere before the atrocities committed during the holocaust.
She added: “In France, President Sarkozy is expelling Roma from the country who are French nationals. There is persecution in Hungary.
“These are very worrying trends. At Dale Farm, the people have not been allowed to settle after they bought their own land.
“It could be a good, nice place, where they could live securely if the council would only support it, rather than push travellers on.
“I hope we can do the performance in Basildon, to raise awareness and do some fundraising for the travellers’ campaign.”