11 Questions with the cast of The Jungle | Moein Ghobsheh

Moein Ghobsheh, also known as Milan among his friends, hails from Iran, and spent time living in the Calais “Jungle” before successfully making the boarder crossing to the UK. He plays the role of Omid in The Jungle and these are his 11 Questions…

1. Can you describe your character in The Jungle in three words?

Crazy, fighter, musical.

2.  What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this particular Young Vic production?

I really like it, because this is my story.

3. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?

I hope they will feel safe.

4. Did you do anything unusual to prepare for this role?

Well, I lived in the Calais “Jungle”.

5. What was it like working with Good Chance Theatre?

It’s been a good time working with Good Chance, both here and in the Calais “Jungle”.

6. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?

I listen to music and tune my guitar.

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Back row: Mohammad Amiri, Mohamed Sarrar, Elham Ehsas, Moein Ghobsheh. Front Row: John Pfumojena. (Source: @FalsettoJohn ) 

7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Anything Amy* says!

*Amy works for Good Chance and met Moein in Calais

8. Who is your ultimate hero and what would you say to them if you ever met them?

My Dad.

9. What is your favourite play (that you’ve seen / read / worked on)?

This is actually my first real experience of theatre, although I suppose I did see some in Calais.

10. What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud.

Years ago, back home in Iran – my friends would make me really laugh out loud.

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something that you’ve never told anyone before.

I’m in love!

The Jungle runs until 9 Jan. Find out more about the production here. Tickets are sold out but you are welcome to queue for returns before each performance. 

Top image: Mohamed Sarrar, Ben Turner, Moein Ghobsheh, Elham Ehsas. Photo by David Sandison. 

11 Questions with the cast of The Jungle | Mohamed Sarrar

We sat down with Mohamed Sarrar who plays Omar in  The Jungle here at the Young Vic. Mohamed, who is originally from Sudan, came through the Calais “Jungle” before successfully making the crossing to the UK. A drummer and singer, he took part in Good Chance Theatre’s programme while there and since coming to the UK has performed in The Welcoming Party at Manchester International Festival and Borderline at the Brighton fringe.

1. Can you describe your character in The Jungle in three words?

Musical, energetic, soulful.

2.  What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this particular Young Vic production?

Being on the Young Vic stage and being able to tell people about the refugee crisis.

3. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?

Hopefully audiences will feel closer to the crisis – and be inspired to help in their own small way.

4. Did you do anything unusual to prepare for this role?

I spent time in the Jungle camp so I didn’t need to prepare as I’d already lived there!

5. What was it like working with Good Chance Theatre?

I have always loved working with Good Chance Theatre, since the first time I found them. They treat refugees as humans. It’s an honour for me to work with them.

6. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?

Having a chat with the other performers and doing some humming as a vocal warm up.

Ammar Haj Ahmad (Safi) and Nahel Tzegai (Helene) in The Jungle at the Young Vic © Leon Puplett.jpg

Ammar Haj Ahmad (Safi) and Nahel Tzegai (Helene) in The Jungle at the Young Vic © Leon Puplett.

7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Not to lose touch with anyone who was kind to you.

8. Who is your ultimate hero and what would you say to them if you ever met them?

I don’t have a specific one!

9. What is your favourite play (that you’ve seen / read / worked on)?

It’s actually a play I saw at the Young Vic – A Man of Good Hope.

10. What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud.

This really funny Arabic joke about a pen – I can’t tell you it.

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something that you’ve never told anyone before.

Back home in Sudan, I fell in love with my Chemistry teacher, so I deliberately left the answers blank on my exam so my family would get me tutoring with her. If my dad found out he’d be very angry!

The Jungle runs until 9 Jan. Find out more about the production here. Tickets are sold out but you are welcome to queue for returns on the day. 

11 Questions with the cast of The Jungle | Elham Ehsas

We sat down with Elham Ehsas who plays Muzamil (Maz) in critically acclaimed The Jungle here at the Young Vic. Elham, who is originally from Afghanistan, moved to the UK aged 10 with his family and is one of a truly global cast of actors, including many from refugee backgrounds, some of whom came through the Calais “Jungle” itself.

1. Can you describe your character in The Jungle in three words?

Brave, short-tempered, funny.

2. What’s the most exciting thing about being part of this particular Young Vic production?

The range of actors involved and their backgrounds.

3. How do you think this show will make audiences feel?

I think it will make audiences more aware of what’s happening in their own back gardens.

4. Did you do anything unusual to prepare for this role?

I went to the Calais “Jungle” a few times.

5. What was it like working with Good Chance Theatre?

Really good!

6. What are you usually doing 10 minutes before the show begins?

Practicing the harmonica.

7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“When going through hell, keep going.”

8. Who is your ultimate hero and what would you say to them if you ever met them? 

Elon Musk. I’d say – “How’s it going?”

9. What’s your favourite play that you’ve ever seen/read/worked on?

Skellig! I watched it on a school trip when I was really young and had just moved to England and could barely speak English – it was amazing.

10. What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

Milan (Moein Ghobsheh who plays Omid) has a line in the play where he says “Iran will resist too!” and the way he says it always makes me laugh so much.

11. Confession time. This is a safe space: tell us something you’ve never told anyone before. 

In Afghanistan, when I was small, I loved the smell of soil when it gets wet (I think there’s a name for this…*), and I always wanted to taste it. So I’d lick the walls (which are made out of mud) to try and get that taste!

The Jungle runs until 9 Jan. Find out more about the production here. Tickets are sold out but you are welcome to queue for returns on the day. 

* Editor’s note: Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrɪkɔːr/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek πέτρα petra, meaning “stone”, and ἰχώρ īchōr, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.

★★★★★ “A haunting, humane masterpiece. Hearts ache. Anger boils. Tears flow.” | The Jungle reviews

We are overwhelmed with the outstanding reviews received so far for Joe Murphy & Joe Robertson’s The Jungle, set in part of the Calais refugee camp, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin.

★★★★★
“Exuberant, full of music and movement. This is a story we need to hear. It feels of national significance.”
Time Out | Read the full review

★★★★★
“This devastating, uplifting show celebrates the human capacity to build something out of nothing, to work together and try to make a difference.”
The Guardian | Read the full review

★★★★★
“The show breathes with the generosity of spirit that it champions. Wonderfully humane and illuminating.”
The Independent | Read the full review

★★★★★
“Important, deeply moving theatre that challenges us to face this terrible, intractable crisis.”
Financial Times | Read the full review

★★★★
“You’re left awed and appalled. It’s warts and all – and that’s the beauty of it.”
The Telegraph | Read the full review

★★★★
“Urgency, vividness and wit. The play’s sense of the knottiness of world politics makes this a remarkable evening.”
The Times | Read the full review

★★★★★ “Brimful of hope, humour and humanity.”
Metro | Read the full review

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Mohammad Amiri (Norullah) in The Jungle at the Young Vic © David Sandison

★★★★★
“A haunting, humane masterpiece. Hearts ache. Anger boils. Tears flow.”
The Stage | Read the full review

★★★★★
“Searing, emotional and profound. It makes you think and feel in a way that theatre very rarely does”
Whatsonstage | Read the full review

★★★★★
“An absolutely vital attempt to bring the tragedy of unwanted and abandoned refugees to the attention of the world.”
The Upcoming | Read the full review

★★★★
“A visual masterpiece. It’s unlike anything you have ever seen.”
Broadway World | Read the full review

The Jungle runs at the Young Vic until 9 January. Tickets are available to book from £10; find out more and book now.

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Ammar Haj Ahmad (Safi) in The Jungle at the Young Vic © David Sandison

 

Good Chance launch a brand new temporary theatre in Paris

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We’re pleased to announce that Young Vic associate company Good Chance have built and launched a new temporary theatre in Paris following on from their previous venue at the refugee camp in Calais last year.

The team have spent the last four months in Paris, trying to understand the complex problems faced by the growing refugee population there. Through meeting and talking with theatres, artists and humanitarian associations they set out to create an inclusive space that helps to create empathy and understanding through theatre and art.

The theatre is an impressive 11-metre dome, that will migrate through Paris with a longer term view of setting the theatre up during long encampments in different places. The Good Chance team will be creating a daily artistic programme with local people and refugees.

A spokesperson for Good Chance said “As the ties between Britain and Europe are redrawn, we want to build new cultural links with our French and international friends, standing alongside them as we re-imagine new, more exciting, more united worlds.

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The Good Chance team were joined by members of the Young Vic team to help with the build. 

Good Chance Paris will be in the north of the city in partnership with Collectif MU before moving to the gardens of the Theatre de la Ville for the duration of the Chantiers d’Europe Festival (2-24 May) before continuing its migration across Paris.

Pioneering theatre company Good Chance are based at the Young Vic. Good Chance builds temporary theatres of hope and works in solidarity to make people’s voices heard.

For more information, please visit http://goodchance.org.uk/

Photography credit: David Sandison

 

YV’s arms are open – we are a Theatre of Sanctuary

The Young Vic is proud to be a Theatre of Sanctuary. Our doors are always open to refugees.

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In 2016 we at the YV extended our commitment to raising awareness of the plight of refugees with our Horizons season which will continue this year with Taha in July and The Suppliant Women in November.

Also last year we became the first London Theatre of Sanctuary, as awarded by City of Sanctuary.

David Lan, our Artistic Director, said of Horizons: “We are responding to the world as it is now. People in distress need help and they need to be heard. We want to provide a powerful means for audiences at home and abroad to connect with the political, social and human realities refugees face.”

We hope that being a Theatre of Sanctuary will help us to encourage more of our new neighbours to visit our theatre, making the Young Vic an important part of their new home.

In order to become a Theatre of Sanctuary, the Young Vic had to show written evidence of three key principles: that as a company we had enhanced our knowledge of asylum issues,  that we had embedded a culture of welcome into our professional community and that we had shared our learning with others.

City of Sanctuary is a movement committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. Their motto is: “Wherever refugees go, we want them to feel safe and find people who will welcome them.” – an important philosophy in these times.

Find out more about City of Sanctuary and how you can help here.

Now We Are Here – Reviews

Golda Rosheuvel in Now We Are Here at the Young Vic. Photo by HelenMurray (2).

Golda Rosheuvel in Now We Are Here | Photo by Helen Murray

We’re sad about the fact it’s over, but definitely not sad about the reception it received. The reviews are in for our new Taking Part play Now We Are Here – a brave collaboration of true stories written by four refugees and the award-winning poet and spoken word artist Deanna Rodger.  Take a look below to see what critics made of the show.

★★★★
“This is seductive theatre, persuasive protest – the stories will haunt you”
The Times – read the full review here.

★★★★
“Simple but starkly affecting – anyone still in any doubt about theatre’s ability to tackle the pressing stories of the day should acquaint themselves sharpish with the Young Vic’s wholly admirable Horizons season”
The Evening Standard – read the full review here.

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The Cast of Now We Are Here | Photo by Helen Murray

★★★★
“Ian Rickson directs this sensitive, compelling production which strips away everything but the bare minimum needed for these voices to be heard”
The Independent – read the full review here.

★★★★
“It is absolutely paramount that more of these stories are told so that we are not desensitised by dehumanising statistics and relentless news reports. […] These beautifully told stories with humour and wit are just the tip of the iceberg.”
Theatre News – read the full review here.

“One takes away from “Now We Are Here” great pride in the courage of the individuals presented alongside an abiding wish that an often unforgiving world can — or will — just let them be.”
The New York Times – read the review here.