A NEW play staged by a refugees theatre group is set to launch in Bournemouth before going on tour across the country.

Hopefool, a play aimed at young people and adults, shows audiences a glimpse of what it means to become a refugee, losing all that is familiar and being thrown into desperate situations.

It is staged by Vita Nova’s Celeste theatre group, which includes refugees, people who speak English as a second language and individuals in addiction recovery.

Olena Rohovska was studying at university in Lviv when Russia invaded Ukraine.

Bournemouth Echo: Olena Rohovska with her mother, Olha, in Ukraine before the war.Olena Rohovska with her mother, Olha, in Ukraine before the war. (Image: Vita Nova)

“In that moment my life changed,” said Olena, 21. “I was on the western side [of Ukraine], but listening to the thud – thud – thud of bombs. It was so frightening. So unreal.”

Arriving in the UK 12 months ago Olena and her mother, Olha, were welcomed by a sponsor family in Wimborne. “Everyone has been so kind,” she said. “But it’s hard worrying about friends and family in Ukraine.”

Olena’s answer to feeling constantly anxious has been to keep herself busy by joining the drama company.

Hopefool will be performed at the Vita Nova Hub in Roumelia Lane, Boscombe, at 3.30pm on Sunday, May 7, before going on tour.

Donations on the night will go towards supporting refugees and homeless people in Dorset.