The claustrophobic and suspenseful story of refugees being smuggled to England keeps the audience short-of-breath and on the edge of their seats.
-By Daniel Holley
In this production of The Container, we are sent along on the intense journey of several refugees travelling in a shipping container. They each have their own personalities and backgrounds, but as tensions rise and the situation becomes increasingly desperate, we see their frustrations overcome them in some way. Each character makes sacrifices and must live with the consequences, and companionship is hard to come by in these circumstances. One interesting arc is the evolution of the relationship between a man and young woman. While at first the man laughs at the woman’s ambitions, he eventually gives in and encourages her to follow her dreams.
The most impressive feat of this production was its ability to make its audience feel the discomfort of the characters. In an interesting twist, the audience was seated inside the shipping container with the cast. Being mere inches from the action leaves little room for hidden tricks as the facial expressions and verbal delivery was made even more powerful. This also added to the claustrophobic feel of the play since the audience was trapped in the small space as well. If I had been in attendance of this play live, I would certainly have been glad to leave after it ended.
The costume design was incredibly simple, yet effective. The cast wore clothes realistic to their situation: Somalian women wore headdresses, and the wealthier businessman wore nicer clothes than the poorer characters. At the beginning of the play one of the men wore a t-shirt with a Nike logo, which I thought helped to bridge the gap between the play and reality. This is a situation real people find themselves in, and since the characters have such realistic costumes, it is easier for us to relate to them.
In conclusion, The Container is the most suspenseful play I have seen yet. The tight, dark setting made this a very emotional and uncomfortable play to sit through, which means it successfully fulfilled its purpose. There are few better ways to portray such a serious and real topic.