St. Ann's Warehouse Announces The Return Of THE JUNGLE
St. Ann's Warehouse and Good Chance present The Jungle, a Good Chance co-production with The National Theatre and the Young Vic that is back by popular demand following a completely sold-out American Premiere last season, beginning April 2, 2020. The production will then tour the U.S. in Spring / Summer 2021; details will be announced at a later date.
Written by Good Chance founders and artistic directors Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson and directed by Stephen Daldry (The Crown, The Hours, Billy Elliot) and Justin Martin, The Jungle is an intense remembrance of the now bulldozed camp in Calais, France. There, thousands of refugees who had escaped drought, war, and strife-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East waited for their "good chance" passage to Britain. The Jungle invites audiences into a faithfully replicated Afghan restaurant, where endless cycles of survival and threat, failed social contracts, creative thought and action, compassion, and empathy unfold. The New Yorker wrote of the work's U.S. premiere at St. Ann's Warehouse, "Directed with kinetic aplomb by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin...[The Jungle] does not so much present its story as plunge us directly into it, to astonishing emotional effect." As the organization celebrates 40 years of bringing groundbreaking work from around the world to New York audiences, The Jungle harnesses the full potential of St. Ann's extraordinary flexibility.
Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson wrote The Jungle after having gone to Calais and constructing a theater in a geodesic dome they called the Good Chance, in the Jungle refugee camp. With minimal resources in the squalid, sprawling landfill-turned-makeshift-camp, immigrants and committed volunteers built a warm, self-governing, diverse society-with restaurants, shops, a school, a church-from nothing. The play brings the audience inside its detailed replica of the Afghan Flag restaurant-made of plywood tables, ill-matching chairs and benches, and a rickety patchwork roof-with the hope that this short-term society will be remembered in all its complexity.
Most media coverage of refugees tends to focus on unfolding humanitarian crises and the rabid responses to them among rising nationalist movements and governments; the individual stories of the fleeing men, women and children, like those living in the Calais Jungle, are rarely heard. The Jungle centers these personal stories and the events leading up to the camp's demolition by the French government in a sharp-eyed tribute to human resourcefulness and resilience against enormous odds. The production had a highly successful West Coast premiere at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco last spring, and has been energizing an international conversation around immigration, borders, and the lived experiences of refugees ever since its momentous first performances exploded at the Young Vic Theatre in December 2017, and in London's West End and at St. Ann's Warehouse in 2018. Reviewing the premiere at the Young Vic, Time Out said, "The Jungle makes a very strong case for the empathetic power of theatre. You come out understanding more but also feeling more. This is a story we need to hear again."
Susan Feldman, St. Ann's Warehouse Artistic Director, said of the play's return, "The appalling treatment of people in search of safety has worsened by epic proportions in this country and abroad since we first presented The Jungle at St. Ann's last year. We are joining with Good Chance to create a production capable of touring, starting in the spring of 2020. We cannot think of a more powerful way to put a human face on the madness taking place on our own southern borders."
The Jungle marks the second partnership between St. Ann's Warehouse and The National Theatre, whose People, Places & Things was also introduced to American audiences by St. Ann's Warehouse 2017, winning vast acclaim and numerous accolades. It also marks the second collaboration with the Young Vic, following the American premiere of the Young Vic's explosive production of A Streetcar Named Desire-directed by Benedict Andrews, and featuring Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster, Vanessa Kirby, and Corey Johnson-in 2016.
Tickets start at $35 and are available now at stannswarehouse.org, 718.254.8779, and 866.811.4111. The Jungle runs 2 hours, 45 minutes, including an intermission. St. Ann's Warehouse is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park at 45 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.