On Thursday 25th October 30 GCSE and A level Drama students headed to The Playhouse Theatre, London to see ‘The Jungle’. Directed by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot), it is the work of Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, who created Good Chance Theatre in the refugee camp at Sangatte, Calais, that became known as the Jungle.
From the moment we arrived, we were transported to the camp, walking through chipboard shelters, through a kitchen cooking the most delicious smelling curries and out to our bench seats alongside the promenade stage. For those who had previously seen ‘The Inspector Calls’ at this very theatre, it was unrecognisable, with dirt and bark on the floor and audience seated all around the various staging. Half our group were sat in the Sudan camp, the other half on the Afghan side and all were up close to the action. From this moment onwards we were fully immersed in the powerful performance; a vivid recreation of a lived experience that left us pondering how the world should address what is seen as the migrant crisis.
It truly was a memorable piece of theatre like nothing I have seen before and I know it will stay in all our memories. For the students, I particularly hope it gives them plenty to write about in their final written exams next year! Here’s what they had to say about it:
“The Jungle was an amazing performance”
“I am proud to have watched such a moving and humbling performance. It is the best piece of live theatre I have ever seen and will truly stay in my memory”
“It was a highly emotive, captivating performance. It made me think twice about global crisis”