The Jungle is theatre at its best: transformative and wholly enveloping. It sucker punches you whilst it is happening and it blooms long after you have left the makeshift Jungle. I was a late arrival. Don’t miss the boat. It’s beautiful.
This new play about refugee-camp life in Calais is a gruelling docu-drama, powerful but oh so middle class!
Keeping on top of reviews is a challenge at the best of times, so throwing in a whole bunch of festival shows from the Vaults makes time management even more challenging. So I’m opting to round up shorter reviews of what I’ve seen in the week into a single post.
For 100+ volunteers in the warehouse a few miles from the Jungle camp, it is business as usual (as I first type this on Day 2 of the evictions). My colleagues and I spent a day sorting donations from supermarkets, individuals, garlic farms, and traders. Every single tin or bag was gathered by type and put on pallets for future use.
I have just spent three days in and around the Jungle in Calais, and there are two preceding blogs circulating which look at the work of the Refugee Community Kitchen and Jungle Books. These are just two parts of an intricate, fully functional, completely unexpected operation or organised chaos to bring the maximum level of life and hope to the 7000 people living in political and governmental limbo in Calais.
Many hundreds of volunteers go to work in Calais, filling the hostels and Airbnb, giving the bus drivers a good full load on historically very quiet routes, and finding their ways around the bars and restaurants. They seem pleased to have the custom, but like most residents, wary of having the camp so close to their town.
For the last few days I have been in France peeling and chopping, mixing and moving, driving and carrying vegetables. I have been one of the 150+ volunteers working in and around a warehouse on the outskirts of Calais. This centre of activity seeks to feed, clothe and help create shelter for the 7000+ refugees […]