The Container

This article is from 2007.

Gripping, tragic real-life stories

Clare Bayley’s play, The Container, depicts the journey of five people seeking asylum in Britain, stuffed into the back of a freight lorry, desperately struggling to survive a gruelling journey. The site-specific experience will involve five actors and an audience of 20 crammed into the back of a real container lorry.

‘We’re taking a hard line on the audience,’ she says. ‘We don’t want them fainting in the heat, but we’re expecting them to put up with a certain amount of discomfort. It doesn’t take much to create a disorientating effect. The container doesn’t actually move, or not very far, but it’s still a powerful effect.’

What Bayley most seeks to convey is authenticity. ‘I did a huge amount of research, and spoke to a lot of people who’d had these experiences. Although none of their stories are reproduced directly, everything that happens in the play is based on something these people told me. Those stories are amazing, sometimes tragic, and so compelling they need to be told.’ (Steve Cramer)

UdderBELLY’s Pasture, Bristo Square, 0870 745 3083, 5–26 Aug (not 20), various times, £10. Previews 3 & 4 Aug, various times, £5.

The Container

  • 4 stars



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