The Container, by Clare Bayley, tells the story of a group of asylum seekers being smuggled across Europe, to England, in a shipping container. The performance took place outside the Young Vic Theatre in a real shipping container. I viewed the performance via Digial Theatre Plus (though seeing it live in the container would have been much cooler).
Written By: Zackarya Faci
The performance recounts the hardships of five refugees as they are smuggled across Europe. They discuss their backgrounds, visions of what England will be like, and even get on each others nerves. They fight over what little food and water they have–thinking one is more deserving based on the struggles they have lived through in the past. Though it makes sense that they would be so easily agitated, since they are confined together in such a small space.
Everyone knows the three essentials for survival: water, food, and shelter. But people always seem to forget about our human need for warmth whether it is literal warmth, heat, or a more figurative warmth through relationships with other people. The Container shows us all four of these necessities during its run time but the main takeaway I got from the performance was that having warmth will let people feel safer than water, food, or shelter will.
The Container, a production by Clare Bayley, was performed live in a real shipping container right outside of London’s Young Vic Theatre and made available through Digital Theatre +.
Written by Willa Wu
The director of this production, Tom Wright, sought to explore the disturbing truths of asylum seekers through the setting of a shipping container. Throughout this production, he adopted a very realistic feel to the audience by having the performance take place in an actual shipping container.
The Container is a thoughtful play that tells a story about five poor refugees hiding in a container of a truck while smuggling goods to England. The Container is directed by the Tom Wright and written by the amazing Clare Bayley. The play is available for view on Digital Theatre.
“The Container” takes place on a standard size shipping trailer moving across Europe towards England. This container, however, is full of refugees from multiple countries who were unable to enter the country legally. The dark, dingy atmosphere and the visages of the occupants make the miserable conditions inside tangible.
The actors accurately portrayed the primal struggle for survival and safety throughout the production. While trapped in the container, the passengers press themselves against the walls at every stop in hopes they may discover some minute shred of evidence as to where they may be or whether they will be given fresh food and water for the next leg of the journey.
The costumes of each character were absolutely perfect for this production. Through their clothing, it was rather easy to distinguish details about each of the characters. The costume that stuck with me the most was that of the businessman because the creators were able to capture his relative wealth in his style of clothing but to maintain the elements of struggle brought about by their current travel and entrapment.
“The Container” is a production directed by Tom Wright and produced by Digital Theatre. It captivates some of the struggles that refugees face in order to seek refuge in Europe, including realistic and tragic elements.
Witten by: Lydia Amezcua-Ramirez
The setting of this production takes place in a real life shipping container, hence the title of the production. The cast consists of six characters, all who come from different backgrounds but with the same end goal, which is to arrive to England safely and begin their new life. The other character is an agent who is in charge of getting them there. While some of these characters hope to start over and escape the violent Middle East, some hope to be reunited with their family. In the past years this was a real and serious issue. There were hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing from the Middle East in hopes of receiving asylum in Europe. However, as the numbers of refugees entering the country was becoming too high, so were the restrictions, meaning that it became harder for the refugees to travel and get into Europe safely.
This production illustrates the difficulty of doing so as shown through the characters. Since they each have a story, they all reveal why they were brought into the container and how tiring their journey has been.
Elements of the Production
The need for food: In the container, the refugees would go days without food or water, having to conserve the little they had. When a woman had entered the container with them she had brought along a few pieces of bread and chocolate which she shared. The characters had never seemed so eager to eat given that they were starving. This can be expected if people are trapped for days in an isolated, dark environment like the container.
Money: The journey to England would not be free, it came at a cost in which the characters had to pay money for. When the agent in charge of the refugees had demanded more money for the refugees to continue their journey they all had a rough time caving in and not all of them had the extra fifty dollars on them that the agent demanded. This seemed like a trick and a method of manipulation that one would expect to see in a real life situation like that. The refugees had come way too far to give up which is something people take advantage of.
3. Women: Just the simple fact of being a woman was a disadvantage. When one of the woman characters in the container did not have the fifty dollars that the agent demanded for them to continue, he suggested a different method of paying. The poor woman had no other choice but to follow the agent elsewhere, where eventually it can be assumed she was taken advantage of and killed because she had never returned.
4. False Promises: One of the characters in the production had mentioned that it was his third time traveling to England because the agents he had hired before had tricked him and took his money. This is something that many refugees encounter, false promises of being led to safety when in reality it is a scam to take away their money. At the end of the production, whether or not the refugees got to England safely remained a mystery.
Overall, I really enjoyed the production because it really captivated my attention and because it was on a topic that most people these days seemed to have stopped talking about. This issue was a big concern in the past but should not be forgotten. Many hear about what goes on but do not really take the time to consider all the things that refugees go through. This film did an amazing job at giving us an insight on that situation.