"Everything is happening on top of everything else – just as it was in the Jungle."
Joe Robertson is describing the set that's been created at London's Young Vic, where audience members can share bread and tea in the Afghan Flag, a fictional cafe that's the setting of the play he's written with university friend Joe Murphy.
The play is named after the Calais camp that became home to thousands of refugees and migrants.
The playwrights, known as the Two Joes, travelled to the camp to volunteer, setting up a makeshift theatre called Good Chance. It's a phrase that not only means hope, but was also used by those desperate to reach the UK when they believed they had an opportunity to make it across the Channel – through whatever means.
Things have now come full circle with the launch of the play, which has received five-star reviews from the likes of the Guardian and Independent, who praised its "warts and all" take on the camp. While the camp may not exist any more, having been bulldozed in 2016, audiences can experience it in a way through the play, sitting on ramshackle benches and watching the action unfold around them.
There are cast members who lived in the real Jungle and seating areas named after the countries from which the camp's inhabitants came.
So while the storyline (based on a Sudanese teenager called Okot who is on a mission to get to England, and the role of British volunteer Beth, who is keen to help him) is fictional, there is no getting away from the reality upon which the play is founded.
We caught up with the Two Joes between rehearsals ahead of the opening night of the play, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin.
"It's like the Jungle itself in microcosm," says Robertson of the staging. "There are conversations happening over each other. I think audiences will be very taken aback but also very excited by it. I hope it reveals something about the situation that if you've only seen it on the news, or read about it in the papers, that you wouldn't know."
'Community and warmth'
"You could never finish a conversation in the Jungle," says Murphy. "Everything was of such importance and urgency that you would get interrupted. We wanted a set and atmosphere that re-created that for the audience and also symbolised the breadth of nationalities and the diversity of the place. There's almost a play before the play as well – when you book a ticket on the website, you have to choose which country section you're going to sit in."
Robertson continues: "Normally in theatre, you're sitting back – but here, you're leaning forward on the table in front of you. There's something about that, not being able to let it pass by you. You're there, and you're attentive.
"The Jungle itself was full of makeshift buildings – these places of community and warmth where people could eat and talk together. In our play, the Afghan Flag echoes what those places were used for – both for a place for meeting when there was a crisis or when there was a celebration."
Murphy says: "It's been very interesting speaking to people after the show. They've been generally very reluctant to use the word 'enjoy' when giving their reaction – we've never had that with a play before. I think it speaks to the complexities of it. One of the questions the play asks is 'how do you help?' So I think people leave expecting something of themselves, and with a sense of urgency and hope."
But Robertson says the play almost never came about.
"We never really intended to write a play about our experience there or to try to replicate the stories we heard and things we experienced.
"The main thing [with Good Chance theatre] was to allow the people who lived there to tell their stories to each other, to have a space where different nationalities could come together. We lived there for seven months and grew to know so many people. We saw experiences that affect everyone living there – the Paris attacks changed so much, profoundly, both in France and the UK.
"It seemed like the story was writing itself while we were in Calais. During the evacuation of the site that March, we had the germ of the idea – telling the story of the place and eventually how it was destroyed."
'Full of life'
Murphy says when casting the play, "it was essential to welcome a range of different experiences" – which is how three former residents of the Jungle came to appear in it.
"They bring their experience directly to the play," he says. Others who have been refugees, or whose parents were refugees, are also involved. "A huge part of the work the theatre does is to help artists develop their work when they arrive in a new country – something we believe is essential to starting a new life."
Robertson says the play is "full of life" – adding that "it's a riot".
"Because that's what it was like," he explains. "You'd hear a song, and people would be dancing."
But he adds: "Calais was such a failure in many different ways. It was a terrible place – there were so many kids there, and there still are. We've tried to look back at what we did, what the group of volunteers did, and ask, what happened?
"I really hope it's a play that's not just for people of one political viewpoint but for anyone who's interested in that question – and wants to know more."
Good Chance is setting up a pop-up theatre next to a refugee reception centre in Paris. It will open next year. The Jungle is at The Young Vic until 9 January.
The post The Jungle: Bringing the stories of the Calais camp to the UK appeared first on News Wire Now.
007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge
Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..
Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.
Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.
Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.
"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.
"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.
"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."
Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".
More from Phoebe Waller-bridge
She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.
Sir Elton hits out at Russia for ‘cruel’ Rocketman censorship
Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic..
Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic Rocketman.
The critically acclaimed film charts the British singer's rise to fame, and its scenes of kissing and sex between men, as well as drug use, contributed to it earning a 15 certificate in the UK.
But in a bid to play down the sexuality of Sir Elton, played by actor Taron Egerton, for a conservative Russian audience, an estimated five minutes of footage was reportedly removed ahead of its debut in Moscow.
The Moscow Times quoted a Russian film critic who had seen the film at its world premiere in Cannes on 16 May as saying "all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut", as well as a photo displayed during the end credits featuring Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish.
Sir Elton, 72, a prominent gay rights campaigner, released a joint statement with the makers of the film to accuse censors of being "cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people".
"We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today," they said.
"That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended, is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.
More from Elton John
"We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to pushRead More – Source
Ben Affleck steps out to drop off kids as Robert Pattinson is announced as new Batman
Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)
Ben Affleck has been pictured ..
Ben Affleck has been pictured performing his parental duties in Los Angeles, as his official replacement in the Batman role is announced.
The 46-year-old actor was seen in the early hours on Friday (31 May) dropping off son Samuel, seven, and daughter Seraphina, 10, to school.
Affleck has three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner – Seraphina, Samuel and 13-year-old Violet.
On the same day the actor was pictured, it was announced Robert Pattinson will take over as Batman in a planned trilogy of movies with director Matt Reeves.
Affleck, who played Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and 2017s Justice League, stepped down from the role in January earlier this year – after being originally down to direct and star in his own film.
More: Ben Affleck
Speaking about his departure in March, Affleck stated how he was never happy with the script they were planning to use.
We worked on the script, I was trying to figure out how to cRead More – Source
Australia2 years ago
60th Annual Louth Cup 2018 | Photos
Australia2 years ago
A good attendance for planning ahead
Australia3 years ago
Severe, unusual weather likely to cause damage
Australia2 years ago
Ten ways to scrap plastic without breaking the bank
World2 years ago
Know-how: Canadian hospital first to сure patients with virtual reality
World3 years ago
Сhinese navy jets master daring night maneuvers on aircraft carrier (VIDEO)
fun3 years ago
Will Gompertz reviews Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton ★★★★★
Food2 years ago
A whisky selection for Societys birthday