The Jungle, currently in previews at the Playhouse Theatre, recognised World Refugee Day with all tickets to the evening performance offered to refugee charities, arts partners and guests from the cultural sphere.
The production is set in Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp, the Calais Jungle, which in 2015, became a temporary home for more than 10,000 people. A National Theatre and Young Vic co-production with Good Chance Theatre, The Jungle is written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson and directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin. It transfers to the West End, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Tom Kirdahy and Hunter Arnold following a sell-out run at the Young Vic in December 2017.
Refugee Week is the UK’s largest festival celebrating the contribution of refugees and celebrates its 20th anniversary between 18 and 24 June 2018. For two decades, the festival has brought together people of all backgrounds to celebrate the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and the welcome offered to them by British communities. For this year’s World Refuge Week people are invited to celebrate Refugee Week’s 20th anniversary by doing one of 20 Simple Acts, which are simple actions everyone can do to stand with refugees and bring people together in their communities. Thousands of people are expected to join Refugee Week’s 20th anniversary celebrations at hundreds of arts, cultural and educational activities across the UK.
The first footage was released of the newly revamped Playhouse Theatre, where the traditional proscenium theatre has undergone an unprecedented transformation, unlike anything seen in a West End venue before. The stalls have been reconfigured to house Miriam Buether’s critically-acclaimed set design as seen at the Young Vic, where audiences are invited to sit at the benches and tables of the Afghan café in the Calais camp. The Playhouse Theatre also offers the new experience of watching from the Dress Circle, which has been renamed “Cliffs of Dover”. Whilst the circle will retain its traditional theatre seating, the unique and intimate experience is unlike anything regular Playhouse Theatre attenders have had before, with views over the dramatically transformed performance space below, which extends beyond the proscenium arch and over the stalls, enhanced by accompanying video screens, relaying close-up ‘live news broadcast’ style footage of some of the action. The in-the-round transformation reduces the capacity of the theatre to under 450 seats. Top price tickets are directly enabling 40% of the house to be priced at £25 and under, and a proportion of tickets will be held off sale to be offered to refugees and targeted groups in order to maximise diversity and accessibility. Bucket collections and donation stations are available at every single performance of the show.
This is the place where people suffered and dreamed. Meet the hopeful, resilient residents of the Jungle – just across the Channel, right on our doorstep. The Jungle tells stories of loss, fear, community and hope, of the Calais camp’s creation – and of its eventual destruction. Join the residents over freshly baked naan and sweet milky chai at the Afghan Café, and experience the intense, moving and uplifting encounters between refugees from many different countries and the volunteers who arrived from the UK.
Official charity partner, Help Refugees, which was established alongside the Good Chance Theatre in the Calais Jungle in 2015, and is now the leading UK NGO in a new movement of International humanitarian aid, is supported by the production.
The company is made up of actors from around the world, cast are from Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, Eritrea, England, Zimbabwe, Syria, Armenia, Congo, Wales, Scotland, The Gambia, Morocco, Lebanon and Germany.
Following its West End run at the Playhouse Theatre, The Jungle will have its American Premiere at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY, beginning December 4, 2018.
Sonia Friedman Productions and Tom Kirdahy, Hunter Arnold present A National Theatre and Young Vic Co-Production with Good Chance Theatre.