Previewed 16 June 2018, Opened 5 July 2018, Closed 3 November 2018 at the Playhouse Theatre
Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson's acclaimed play The Jungle in London directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin
This is the place people suffered and dreamed. Meet the hopeful, resilient residents of the Calais "Jungle" – Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp, and a temporary home for more than 10,000 people at its peak. Okot wants nothing more than to get to the UK. Beth wants nothing more than to help him. Join refugees and volunteers from around the world over fresh baked naan and sweet milky chai at the Afghan Café.
Please note that the stalls and stage area has been completely re-configured to accommodate this production which transfers from London's Young Vic Theatre.
Directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin with set by Miriam Buether, costumes by Catherine Kodicek, video by Tristan Shepherd, lighting by Jon Clark and sound by Paul Arditti.
When this production was seen at the Young Vic Theatre in December 2017, Dominic Maxwell in the Times highlighted that "there is an urgency, vividness and wit to this show, though, that becomes more potent as its almost three hours go on... The play's sense of the knottiness of world politics and the amount of desperation it gives us without slipping into sentimentality make this a remarkable evening." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times hailed "this remarkable, compassionate and urgent play by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson... is no rose-tinted picture: the play's characters are complex and driven by conflicting emotions. The production, by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, is flecked with wit, but also maintains a tense, simmering uneasiness... It's an important, deeply moving piece of theatre that challenges us to face this terrible, intractable crisis." Lyn Gardner in the Guardian said that, "like the Afghan restaurant and the camp itself, Murphy and Robertson’s play, delicately directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, has a makeshift quality. That always operates in its favour... It’s not a sophisticated piece of theatre, but it is an extraordinarily effective one... This devastating, uplifting show is beady-eyed even as it celebrates the human capacity to build something out of nothing, to work together and try to make a difference." Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard described Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson's play as being an "expansive, baggy and heartfelt piece, which drips with authenticity in every hard-lived line," adding that "directors Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin bring their words to life in an all-round sensory experience." Paul Taylor in the i newspaper praised "this remarkable work that pulls you into the life of the camp, charting its story from inception to final eviction... superlative staging by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin... wonderfully humane and illuminating." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph wrote: "The camp is gone but the crisis continues. As eloquently and powerfully as any production of A Christmas Carol, this front-line drop-in drama asks you to look to your heart and enlarge it."
This production was originally seen at London's Young Vic Theatre (previewed from 7 December 2017, opened on 15 December 2017 and closed on 9 January 2018) when the cast included Raphael Acloque, Aliya Ali, Alyssa Denise D'Souza, Mohammad Amiri, Elham Ehsas, Trevor Fox, Moein Ghobsheh and Michael Gould.
"Pungently theatrical, needlingly intelligent and often emotionally overwhelming, The Jungle traces the sprawl and fall of the refugee camp in Calais... Written by two Joes, Murphy and Robertson, who set up the Good Chance theatre in the camp, the play is engaged in the refugees' nerve-thrumming resilience and anxiety as they try to make it across the Channel, but properly sceptical about the British volunteers' bossiness and privilege. These are not simple relationships, however well-meaning. The production honours both the Jungle's creative endeavour and the aching pity that it had to exist. A significant event in which theatre shakes hands with the world." The Sunday Times
"You might think that the biggest crisis facing Europe is Brexit. But in terms of deaths and desperation, it is by some margin the wave of migrants who have perished in Europe's seas or shivered in makeshift camps on its land. One of the most notorious of these was outside Calais before it was razed last year. It was known as the Jungle by its inhabitants. That title well describes a place where life for the thousands there was about daily survival. But this remarkable and at times deeply moving play by two young Brits known as 'the Joes' (surnames Murphy and Robertson) reveals that it was less a camp than an impromptu city. Co-directors Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin recreate it in the auditorium... Although there are tales, such as that of mentally and physically scarred 17-year-old Okot from Sudan that will sear themselves into the memory, so will the impression that the Jungle was brimful of hope, humour and humanity." The Metro
The Jungle in London at the Playhouse Theatre previewed from 16 June 2018, opened on 5 July 2018 and closed on 3 November 2018