Ahead of the April 4 opening of The Jungle at The Curran, the recently renovated theater's 1600-seat proscenium setup will become an intimate 600-seat house with 360-degree staging.
The Curran just announced the cast of The Jungle, the acclaimed new current-events-based play by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson that is set to open for a nearly eight-week run (including previews) in late March. Directed by acclaimed British director Stephen Daldry (The Hours, Billy Elliott, The Crown) and his longtime collaborator Justin Martin, The Jungle is set in Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp in Calais, France, which goes by that name. As Deadline describes it, the immersive production "dramatizes the conditions and cross-cultural blending of refugees from various nations" at the sprawling camp, showing the "unlikely bonds and... warmth [that forms among them] despite the dangerous and squalid setting."
This production, with an elaborate set design by Miriam Buether in which the audience is seated with the Afghan cafe at the camp, was originally commissioned by London's National Theatre and premiered at the Young Vic in December 2017. It then moved to the West End at the Playhouse Theatre last June, and had its North American premiere at Brooklyn's St. Ann’s Warehouse in December.
The Guardian called it a "devastating, uplifting show," and the New York Times called it "thrilling... ravishing... devastating."
"By putting such a heartbreakingly human face on a story too often told through statistics, The Jungle manages to provide us with both an incredible evening of theater and a moral imperative for our times,” says producer and Curran owner Carole Shorenstein Hays. “It is precisely the show America needs right now, as we struggle mightily to harness the collective strength of our better selves."
The incredibly diverse cast hails from all over the world, including from refugee backgrounds. Transferring from the West End and New York productions are Alexander Devrient, Ammar Haj Ahmad, Trevor Fox, Yasin Moradi, Jonathan Nyati, John Pfumojena, Rachel Redford, Dominic Rowan, Mohamed Sarrar, Milan Tajmiri, Ben Turner, and Nahel Tzegai. And newly announced cast members include Moe Bar-El, Lorraine Bruce, Tommy Letts, Catherine Luedtke, Zara Rasti, Ibrahim Renno, Rachid Sabitri, Bisserat Tseggai, Tim Wright, and Khaled Zahabi. Just to illustrate the diversity, Tzegai and Tseggai are Eritrean; Moradi, Tajmiri, and Turner are Iranian; Pfumojena is from Zimbabwe; Ahamar is from Syria; Sarrar is from Sudan; Luedtke is a Bay Area-based British actor, and Rasti is a Bay Area native.
Tickets are on sale now, with previews starting March 26 and opening night on April 4. In partnership with TodayTix (download the app), The Curran will also be offering $25 day-of rush tickets to all performances.
Photo by Marc Brenner courtesy of The Curran