Badac Theatre’s The Journey is a compelling, fearless, intense and immersive slice of drama that is true to the experiences of refugees from across the globe fleeing conflict and, sometimes, certain death. Taking in both theatre and non-theatre venues it tours nationally in November and December following London dates at Draper Hall, Elephant & Castle on 2nd and 3rd November (with a preview in Colchester 31 Oct).
To research the play director Steve Lambert visited Lebanon and camps on the Syrian border to learn of the desperate measures people can be forced to endure as they strive to survive. In the UK he worked with refugee communities and support organisations as well as Edinburgh based poet Ghazi Hussain, a former Palestinian refugee who fled Syria to escape torture and imprisonment – and was twice repatriated before being given leave to stay in Britain.
Central characters in the play are a displaced mother and child who struggle to hold darkness and despair at bay during a punishing trek from their devastated, war ravaged homeland to a destination of perceived safety and security.
Steve Lambert noted ‘All over the world people are being forced to flee their homes to escape war, racial and religious persecution and sometimes worse. Often the countries they seek refuge in treat them as at best inconvenient and sometimes as undesirable, unwelcome and a threat. Perhaps if we had a better understanding of what they have been through we may be better able to show compassion. No one abandons their home if that home is safe and welcoming’.
With a cast including British based refugee actors who are facing an uncertain future in the UK, The Journey tells of the emotional, psychological and physical effects experienced by those forced to flee their homes.
On tour the play will be performed in a mix of both theatre and non-theatre spaces, in areas with a refugee population and with low engagement with the arts. ‘It’s too easy to just go to the usual touring theatre’s and NPO Arts Centre’s’ said Lambert. ‘Audiences can watch a show for an hour then return to comfortable warm homes to talk about inequality. I want to try to reach people who know about injustice from first hand experience’.