Performed by a mixed ensemble, including those who have recently sought refuge in the UK, Welcome to the UK has its world premiere at The Bunker this January (22nd-16 February). Brought to life by Borderline, a unique theatre ensemble created by PSYCHEdelight, Welcome to the UK will be presented alongside the company’s first production Borderline.
With live music, horror and candy floss, Welcome to the UK tackles the migrant experience using satire to highlight the current hostile environment from the insane processes asylum seekers undergo when they arrive in this country, to how Brexit has affected the lives of European and British citizens alike. Directed by Sophie NL Besse, this powerful devised piece is full of visual poetry and physical comedy in a fantastical staging which borrows many different theatrical styles, from musical theatre to pantomime. They may have thought the journey was over once they left the Calais Jungle – they thought wrong.
Besse comments, I didn’t know about the British government’s hostile policies to asylum seekers or the 28 days deadline. I discovered all this in the past three years while supporting my cast through, what has often been, absolute hell. This show is their stories, their voices, their talent and their sense of humour. It’s also an ode to the UK we love: a satirical play with a Sudanese, Italian, Syrian, Gambian, Iranian, Afghani, Zimbabwe, Armenian, Iraqi and French touch!
Featuring a cast from three different continents, Welcome to the UK has been created by a community determined to change the negative narrative often associated with refugees. It seeks to raise awareness of the obstacles facing asylum seekers.
For Welcome to the UK, Borderline worked alongside the ‘Women for Refugee Women’ drama group resulting in several members joining the cast. Supporting refugee and asylum women performers, ‘Women for Refugee Women’ raise awareness around the trafficking of women to the UK. PSYCHEdelight operate regular Together Workshops at Theatre Delicatessen for people from all backgrounds and cultures to meet and learn drama skills.
The Borderline company will also perform Borderline twice a week to complement their new production. Borderline, a satire of the Calais Jungle, premiered in November 2016 at the Cockpit Theatre as part of the Voila! Festival and has toured across the UK and internationally.
FOLLOW WEST END WILMA