The Jungle – review
Playhouse Theatre

Words by: Isaac ‘Icey’ Tomiczek | Published: Wednesday, 11-Jul-2018 8:35 AM

Starting with a searing set piece which actually takes place at the end of the story, the action then goes back to the very beginning and here we are introduced to the inhabitants of Joe Murphy’s and Joe Robertson’s Jungle, an often exhilarating and thought provoking production about life in the camp in Calais leading up to its destruction.


Depicting migrant camp life in Calais, raising issues and beginning the discussion about it again is one of the plays best assets followed closely by the breathtaking set design by Miriam Buether but Jungle is at its best when its experiential and immersive production, message and themes are lived, breathed and then bested by some of its cast.


John Pfumojena in particular absolutely thrills in a scene that lays bare some very harsh truths, a scene which reduced myself and many others to tears.

In these moments of heart melting misery or levity, laughs, love and the very notion of hope we are right in the thick of the action, feeling their breath, smelling their sweat and squeezing next to them on our simple seats, we squirm just like they do as the screws are twisted on situations with serious consequences, a million miles form anything we’re facing and for me John Pfumojena in particular absolutely thrills in a scene that lays bare some very harsh truths, a scene which reduced myself and many others to tears.


This production of Jungle by Justin Martin arrives at the Playhouse Theatre with even more fan fare and at arguably an even more urgent time than when it began its run late last year. It is also said to be the best staging of it to date fusing everything that worked so well at the Young Vic and then cranking it up to a West End level of energy and exhilaration.


This was the opinion of a former camp inhabitant and member of the Good Chance theatre, who also took part in Stephen Daldry’s RnD before its first run at Young Vic.


Jungle is a fearless feast for the eyes and a magnificent motivation for the mind.

At times it feels impossible to ignore the state of the world right now and at its very best and most captivating moments Jungle serves as a stark reminder that the struggle is still gravely real for some people and that we can and should do something about it.


Hopefully seeing this play sparks something in you to do just that, and the words on the jumpers of the help refugees movement charity “Choose Love” as worn by staff at the show will remind you what’s at stake and what it takes.


Jungle is a fearless feast for the eyes and a magnificent motivation for the mind.



Info: Jungle is at the Playhouse Theatre until 3 November 2018 | Find out more




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