Steve Lambert's The Journey isn't afraid to provoke
- Gareth K Vile
- 8 November 2018
Political charged drama from Badac Theatre tackles the experience of refugees fleeing conflict
With a cast that faces an uncertain future in the UK, and a script based on interviews with refugees, Badac's The Journey is a tough examination of a subject that is too often left to headlines and tabloid controversy. Director Steve Lambert visited refugee camps in the Middle East to see the conditions of people as they try to escape violence and instability, before developing a play that follows the experience of a mother and child as they travel from their devastated homeland to what they hope will be safety.
Lambert's attitude towards theatre is bracingly passionate: Badac's remit for politically engaged performance manifests in his intense research and an unflinching honesty. 'Theatre can't be effective if it's tailoring work for the audiences taste and is designed to keep everyone happy and not offend,' he says. By touring outside of the usual venues, into places where theatre isn't a regular, and respectable, treat, Lambert wants to push the medium as a vehicle for debate.
Influenced by Artaud's command that performance ought to have the intensity of a plague, Lambert strives towards a theatre that doesn't just pander, but provokes. Grounded in the life experiences of the refugee, and filtered through Badac's distinctive raw aesthetic, The Journey refuses to provide easy answers. 'The vulnerability and honesty of the process,' Lambert says, 'does sometimes create an intense, brutal and cruel experience for both actors and audience. Through intimacy and testimony, we can hopefully do that on The Journey.'
The Drill Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 10 & Sun 11 Nov, then touring.