As we come into nearly eight years of rule of the UK Government by the Conservative Party – or 12 Years depending on your feelings for the Liberal Democrats – we have seen a rise in discussion and discourse on asylum seekers. We have seen this amplified with plans such as the current government’s Rwanda Policy and all the way being led by Tory Home Secretaries from Theresa May to Priti Patel who have worked tirelessley to secure British borders even if causes harms those seeking asylum and protection from persecution and war. Exodus takes these events and themes, putting a theatrical and darkly comical lens to them in this National Theatre of Scotland production at the Traverse Theatre.
A very stunning show
This is a show with an incredibly strong and powerful message and it hits very well. The story itself is a twisted mix between the political performances before such as The Thick of It and BBC’s House of Cards with the dark humour of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, sprinkled with plenty of satirical takes of our modern-day politics which, as much as it can be funny, is frightfully real. Though, like a roller-coaster the writing has its ups and downs, it overall does a spectacular job and strikes well. And the performances are brilliant. Aryana Ramkhalawon, Habiba Saleh, Sophie Steer and especially Anna Russell-Martin as Tobi Tucker really bring their all to this. All portraying such amazing energy, great comedic timing and really powerful moments.
The staging itself also brings some interesting observation, both positive and negative. The stage, split between a tall projection screen, a moving wall which uses both large and small projections to mimic aspects of the train and other locations. The movement and the interactivity between the cast and staging was brilliant. So much motion and chaos which really added to the performances and story. However, the projections, though used well in depicting the train-based location, didn’t really work well on the larger scale with the staging at the Traverse.
Overall, this is a really intriguing, chaotic but overall superb show. A gripping message, topical humour and satirical punches along with fantastic performances and overall energy, you are in for a very stunning show.