Opening night is tonight for The Jungle, the immersive theater piece that has transformed The Curran from a 1,600-seat proscenium theater into a 600-seat Afghan cafe inside a French refugee camp.
The play, conceived and written by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson and directed by Stephen Daldry (The Hours, Billy Elliott, The Crown) and his longtime collaborator Justin Martin, tells the story of Europe's largest unofficial refugee camp in Calais, France, featuring an extremely diverse cast who hail from various parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Murphy and Robertson both spent time working in The Jungle in 2015, and came away with a much more human and specific impression of the refugee crisis than much of the media has been able to describe.
Robertson says in an interview with The Curran, "[The refugees] were living in this horrible place, a landfill site outside the port. There were a couple water taps to go around for about eight thousand people. But there was a sense of industry and an attempt by everybody there to try and find a way of living together, even temporarily. So there were restaurants built by people from Afghanistan and Pakistan, there were churches and mosques of different denominations. It was a very hopeful place, in spite of the atrocious conditions."
Tickets for The Jungle can be found here.