Following universal critical acclaim, and a sold-out run at the Young Vic, producers Sonia Friedman Productions, Tom Kirdahy and Hunter Arnold are delighted to announce the West End transfer of the National Theatre and Young Vic co-production with Good Chance Theatre of Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson’s The Jungle, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin. The production is set in Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp, the Calais Jungle, which in 2015, became a temporary home for more than 10,000 people. Previewing from 16 June, The Jungle will have an Opening Night on 5 July at the Playhouse Theatre. The first wave of tickets will go on general sale on 15 March.
The Jungle will transfer to the Playhouse Theatre in the West End, where the traditional proscenium theatre will undergo a remarkable transformation. The auditorium stalls will be completely reconfigured to house Miriam Buether’s critically-acclaimed set design as seen at the Young Vic, where audiences were invited to sit at the benches and tables of the Afghan café in the Calais camp. The Dress Circle will be renamed “Cliffs of Dover” and will allow unique views over the performance space, which extends out beyond the proscenium arch and over the stalls. This in-the-round transformation will reduce the capacity of the theatre to 450 seats, to more closely recreate the intimate and immediate experience audiences had at the Young Vic. Top price tickets are directly enabling 40% of the house to be priced at £25 and under, and a proportion of tickets will be held off sale to be offered to refugees and targeted groups in order to maximise diversity and accessibility.
This is the place where people suffered and dreamed. Meet the hopeful, resilient residents of the Jungle – just across the Channel, right on our doorstep. The Jungle tells stories of loss, fear, community and hope, of the Calais camp’s creation - and of its eventual destruction. Join the residents over freshly baked naan and sweet milky chai at the Afghan Café, and experience the intense, moving and uplifting encounters between refugees from many different countries and the volunteers who arrived from the UK.
The majority of the original cast will transfer with the production, including actors from refugee backgrounds, some of whom came through the Jungle. The full cast includes: Ammar Haj Ahmad, Mohammad Amiri, Girum Bekele, Elham Ehsas, Trevor Fox, Moein Ghobsheh, Ansu Kabia, Alex Lawther, John Pfumojena, Rachel Redford, Rachid Sabitri, Mohamed Sarrar, Ben Turner and Nahel Tzegai.
Official charity partner, Help Refugees, will be supported by the production, with fundraising efforts taking place at the venue throughout the entire run.
Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy said: “The Jungle was a reluctant home for thousands of people from all over the world. It was a place where people built temporary lives and communities formed out of necessity. People who visited asked why we built a theatre in a refugee camp, but it’s always seemed clear to us that theatre should be at the centre of the conversation. That’s why we’re thrilled to bring this play to new audiences and to the West End, in a totally transformed Playhouse Theatre, a stone’s throw from Parliament. The metamorphosis of the Playhouse is a bold statement: that we need new spaces for this conversation to happen, and that the stories of the people in this play belong on our most significant stages.”
Josie Naughton, CEO, Help Refugees said: “Help Refugees is honoured to be the charity partner for the West End run of The Jungle. We have worked with Good Chance since we first met in Calais in 2015, where their theatre provided camp residents with a vital outlet for self-expression. We are excited that in addition to having local social impact, funds will be raised to actively support displaced people in the UK and in Calais. In northern France, there are currently more than 1,000 people sleeping in the forests with no shelter from the rain and snow, with limited access to drinking water, showers and toilets, with no access to safe and legal routes to sanctuary and no opportunity to learn, work and start a new life. Our teams and our partners are still working tirelessly to provide for people's basic needs, including food, shelter, information and protection.”
Rufus Norris, Director of National Theatre said: “Having visited the Calais Jungle at the end of 2015 it felt incredibly important to tell this story. Joe and Joe’s script together with Stephen and Justin’s production perfectly captures the lives of so many individuals caught up in an impossible situation. The Jungle is an unforgettable experience which is both powerful and moving, and it is wonderful that it has now found a home in the West End.”
David Lan said: “It was clear from the start that The Jungle would be one of the most provocative and significant shows we’ve produced. It tells a powerful real-life story that matters hugely to everyone. It’s created and performed in an enthrallingly inventive way by some of those who lived it. Those who saw it at the Young Vic said they’d never seen anything like it - and that it was as if they’d been on the journey of a lifetime. I’m delighted it will now be seen by so many more.”
Sonia Friedman said: "Sometimes plays have to respond to a space. Here, thanks to the commitment of all involved, the space has responded to the work. Experiencing The Jungle at the Young Vic was extremely powerful. Audiences were plunged emotionally and physically into the world of the camp in Calais - a place I visited several times - and the combination of the setting, extraordinary performances and storytelling was a real a sucker punch. I am therefore so happy that we have found a way to transport the world and atmosphere of the play to the West End in a unique and intimate way. The West End needs productions like The Jungle and we have created a democratic pricing structure that allows, I hope, a wide range of people to see it, and to take part in the debate it provokes."
Sonia Friedman Productions and Tom Kirdahy, Hunter Arnold present A National Theatre and Young Vic Co-Production with Good Chance Theatre.
Sonia Friedman Productions and Tom Kirdahy, Hunter Arnold present
A National Theatre and Young Vic co-production with Good Chance Theatre
by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson
Directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin
Design by Miriam Buether
Costumes by Catherine Kodicek
Lighting by Jon Clark
Sound by Paul Arditti
Musical Direction / Composition by John Pfumojena
The Playhouse Theatre
Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5DE
First performance: Saturday 16 June
Final performance: Saturday 3 November
Opening Night: Thursday 5 July
Monday to Saturday evenings, 7.30pm
Thursday & Saturday matinees, 2.30pm
Box office: 0844 871 7631 Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company's access charge
Groups Bookings: 020 7206 1174
Access Bookings: 0800 912 6971
Prices from £15
Joe Robertson and Joe Murphy are the joint-artistic directors of the Evening Standard Editor’s Award-winning Good Chance Theatre which was originally based in the Jungle in Calais and then in the north of Paris next to the refugee welcome centre in spring 2017 and spring 2018.
Good Chance builds temporary theatres of hope promoting freedom of expression, creativity and dignity for everyone. Founded by two British playwrights, Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, Good Chance established its first temporary theatre space, an 11m geodesic dome, in the heart of the refugee and migrant camp in Calais in September 2015. After seven months in Calais, the theatre travelled to London’s Southbank for a nine-day festival of introductions led by refugees in July 2016. At the start of 2017, Good Chance began working in Paris starting with a five-week residence at La Station, Gare de Mines, in collaboration with Collectif MU and Emmaus Solidarité. From here, the Good Chance dome travelled to the gardens of Théâtre de la Ville for the duration of the Chantiers d'Europe Festival.
Good Chance returned to Paris in January 2018 to open a new temporary theatre within the grounds of the largest welcome centre for newly-arrived migrants in the French capital, in partnership with French humanitarian charity, Emmaus Solidarité. This new partnership between Good Chance and Emmaus Solidarité, led to the creation of the first dedicated creative space for refugees and migrants newly-arrived to Paris, reported to be between 80 and 100 people every day. Good Chance Paris runs for ten weeks from 23 January until 31 March 2018.
Good Chance is an Associate Company of the Young Vic Theatre. Awards include the Genesis Prize (2018), the Evening Standard Editor’s Award (2016), Empty Space Peter Brook Award (2016), and a nomination for Index on Censorship's Freedom of Expression Award (2016).
Good Chance is supported by the Pureland Foundation and the KT Wong Foundation.
Good Chance Trustees: Stephen Daldry (Chair), Sonia Friedman, David Lan, Natalia Kaliada.
Stephen Daldry started his career at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre and directed extensively in Britain’s regional theatres. In London he was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre where he headed the £26million redevelopment. He has also directed at the National Theatre, the Public Theatre in New York and transferred many productions both to Broadway and the West End. His award-winning 1992 National Theatre production of An Inspector Calls recently completed a 16 week run in the West End following a successful UK tour. Billy Elliot the Musical opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005 where it ran for 11 years. It has also played on Broadway, in Holland, Seoul, Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and across the US with two further productions opening in Japan and Korea in 2017. In 2009, the production won ten Tony awards including Best Musical, more than any other British show in Broadway history. Its first UK and Ireland Tour will finish its highly successful 18 month run in Hamburg. Stephen’s first four films Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close together received 19 Academy Award® nominations and two wins. His film, Trash, set in the favellas of Rio de Janeiro, was nominated for Best Film Not In The English Language at the 2015 BAFTAs. He also directed The Audience and Skylight to critical acclaim both in London and on Broadway with Skylight winning a Tony award for Best Revival. Stephen has previously directed for BBC Radio and Television. He is Executive Producer and Director on the highly acclaimed Netflix series The Crown by Peter Morgan, which won Best Drama Series at the Golden Globes. Stephen was Creative Executive Producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Justin Martin previously directed Last Chance with Good Chance Theatre at the Young Vic in 2016. Theatre includes: Low Level Panic (Old Fitz Theatre, Sydney; Galway Theatre Festival and Irish National Tour), Street (Mick Laly Theatre), The Black Balloon (in development), Harvey and Frieda (Arcola Theatre), Far Away and Skintight (fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne), The Kitchen (HMS Theatre, Vic), Echarcissus (Natya Mandala Theatre) and Billie (The Studio, Sydney Opera House and La Mama). As Associate Director: Inheritance (Young Vic/Scott Rudin - workshop), Skylight (West End, Broadway), The Audience (West End, Broadway), Let The Right One In (National Theatre Of Scotland, The Royal Court, Apollo Theatre, St Anne's Warehouse), Billy Elliot (New York, Toronto, Brazil, Chicago, North America Tour, Korea and Australia) and The Give and Take (Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company). Television credits includes: The Crown (Series 1 and 2)
Miriam Buether’s theatre credits include: The Trial, Measure for Measure, Public Enemy, Wild Swans, The Government Inspector, In the Red and Brown Water, The Good Soul of Szechuan, Generations (all Young Vic); A Doll’s House 2 (Broadway); Escaped Alone (Brooklyn Academy of Music); Sunny Afternoon, Chariots of Fire (Hampstead Theatre and West end); In the Republic of Happiness, Love and Information (also New York), Escaped Alone, Get Santa!, Sucker Punch, Cock, My Child (Royal Court Theatre); Wild (Hampstead Theatre); Bend it Like Beckham (West End); The Father (Theatre Royal Bath); Boy, Game, When the Rain Stops Falling, Judgement Day (Almeida Theatre); The Effect, Earthquakes in London (National Theatre); Decade (Headlong); King Lear (New York); Six Characters in Search of an Author (Chichester Festival Theatre and West End); Everybody Loves a Winner (Manchester International Festival); The Wonderful World of Dissocia (Edinburgh International Festival and Royal Court); Red Demon, The Bee (Young Vic and Japan); Trade (RSC and Soho Theatre); Guantanamo: “Honor Bound to Defend Freedom” (Tricycle Theatre, West End, New York, and San Francisco), Tenterhooks ( National Ballet of Canada); Awakenings (Ballet Rambert), Frame of View (Cedar Lake, New York). Opera credits include La Fanciulla Del West (English National Opera and Santa Fe Opera); Turandot, Wozzeck (English National Opera); Suor Angelica (Royal Opera House); Anna Nicole (Royal Opera House and Brooklyn Academy of Music); Carmen (Salzburg Festival); The Death of Klinghoffer (Edinburgh Festival and Scottish Opera).