Jungle Review. YoungVic

Another day, another play.

A week ago I went to see Jungle at the Young Vic, courtesy of OpenDoorPeople!

As I entered the theatre, I was pleasantly surprised to be seated in a very immersive way: the audience were split into nationalities (The countries where many people had been displaced) and I was sat in Syria. The whole theatre space had been transformed into a afghan restaurant: one of the semi-permanent structures of the Calais ‘Jungle’.

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The play itself is based around a mass group of immigrants living just outside of calais, these people have fled their homes in hope to seek refuge in the UK: a country that will offer them freedoms they weren’t born into. Sadly, they are unable to stay living in this jungle as the authorities threaten to demolish the camp.

After witnessing the first emotionally charged scene, set at the end of the play. We are then transported back to the beginning: men, women, children and british volunteer’s begin to create their own community and way of life on this land in hopes that one day they can live and be free in the UK. Throughout the play there are many things thrown at you; comedy, drama and as the noise starts to die down you finally get to see the more individual battles being had as each character fights for a better future.

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As the story neared to a close, I could feel the intense themes at play. For me, it solidified the fact that borders are only there to suppress people because everyone in the whole world should be born to a land where anyone can prosper. We say freedom and opportunity are a birth right for people of all countries, but that can’t be true because why would anyone risk their life, their children’s lives and put themselves through those horrific conditions and experiences if they didn’t have to.

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This play taught me that the world we live in is unfair for those that did not win the birth lottery of being born into a 1st world country. That the media and governments dehumanise these brave people and teach others to do so by branding them as ‘Refugees’.

Finally, it taught me that unity is the only way for change.

If you have the opportunity to watch this show I highly recommend that you buy a ticket before the run is through because these are the sort of plays we need more of. The more people that have access to shows like this and experience things outside of the mainstream (TV), the more people can understand what is really happening in the world.

Rating: *****

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