From the moment I walked in to the theatre I was transported back to the camp. The stage was surrounded by cushions and little makeshift tables, exactly like the ones we used to sit at in Kabul Cafe in the camp. The floor was covered in wood chip and rubbish, and the walls with signage and graffiti I recognised from the actual camp. The level of detail brought it all back and I felt a feeling I haven’t felt since the camp was demolished in 2016.
The play itself was amazing. It truly captured the essence of the chaotic and horrifying, welcoming but hostile, incredibly special place that the Jungle was. For my mum, who never went there, this is definitely the closest she will get to understanding what it was like.
For me and Mez, who both spent a lot of time there…It really hit us hard. We recognised many of the actual faces from the camp, but also many of the characters who were based on people we knew there. And we recognised all of the stories. All of the pain and injustice, the fear and the hope, the community and the unity. Also the pivotal moments…the whole sequence of events that led to the final demolition. We were there and we felt it and experienced it and this play brought it all back and more.