I see many shows as a writer. Ordinarily, I scribble down notes on the play and mentally compose paragraphs whilst my eyes zoom in on actors catching my attention, ready to piece it all together when I leave the theatre.
This was lost when watching The Jungle. As soon as I sat down I was sucked into the community created on stage, and for the entire duration I forgot why I was there. The acting is so immersive and sincere that it doesn’t feel as if you are sat in a squashy seat in a theatre, rather that your nose is pressed up against the glass, spying on these brave, incredible people living in the Jungle. The sheer importance of The Jungle as a piece of theatre is astounding and when the actors took their final bow I had nothing to say. It left me speechless.
The Jungle is written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, following their experience of living in the Calais Jungle for seven months. Miriam Buether has transformed The Playhouse with her immersive set, which allows the actors to leap about the stage and in between audience members as if this really is their home.
Directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, The Jungle is bursting with raw energy as each actor rips through Murphy and Robertson’s words with an almighty surge of life. Although the show is splitting at the seams with heart, The Jungle is harrowing and the reality of the play is deeply upsetting as it forces every audience member to sit up and listen. The message is deafening.
Julian Horan cast this production perfectly as each performance is devastatingly brilliant. The hearty feel of community that the ensemble created on stage was captivating.
The Jungle is the most important play I’ve seen. If you see one thing this year, see this.
The Jungle is currently running at Playhouse Theatre through 3 November. You can book The Jungle tickets here.
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