Walls (3 stars)

This article is from 2017


Emotional and powerful look at two migration stories set decades apart

Stories of migration and movement are prevalent in many productions at this year's Fringe, with companies and groups actively attempting to interact with the difficult themes and issues that surround our current political climate. The Flame Collective are one such group, with their new play Walls responding to displacement and physical borders through two converging stories of social injustice.

The narrative in Walls revolves around two sisters living in East Berlin in 1989 and two friends that meet in the Calais Jungle refugee camp in 2016. In an effort to fight back against the oppressive German state, one of the sisters chooses to climb the Berlin Wall, while in Calais a young Afghan boy attempts the treacherous journey to the UK, with both in search of a better life.

Though the two contrasting storylines are powerful alone, the immediate connection between the central characters is not obvious at first, occasionally resulting in a slight incoherence which takes away from the excellent performances by the ensemble. Despite this, the innovative use of physical theatre and the addition of live music and haunting vocal harmonies help to lift the dialogue. Through its sensitive treatment of the two stories, Walls ultimately provides an emotional and visually effective interrogation of a difficult and pertinent subject matter.

ZOO, run ended.


  • 3 stars

The Flame Collective Set in Eastern Berlin (1989) and the Calais Jungle refugee camp (2016), Walls intercuts the true stories of young people who have been denied freedom by political and physical borders. In Berlin, we see a girl attempt to cross the Berlin Wall from east to west; in Calais, we follow the story of an…