Fit for Purpose

Having interned in an NGO’s office this summer, I found this narrative of two asylum seekers caught in the complexities of the UK Border Agency’s claims system incredibly accurate. Fit For Purpose is truly eye-opening for all who are unfamiliar with the way asylum seekers are treated in this country. It is a strong and fluid production, effectively executed by the charity End Child Detention Now.Undoubtedly the most insightful part of this production is the plot. Like the pages of a book it unfolds before your eyes, as the layers of involvement personalise each of the characters. Aruna and Kaela are the asylum seekers we follow through the play, but in the background we witness the unfolding of a hunger strike by the women in the detention centre, the bigotry of the detention guards, the indifference of case-workers, and the attempts by a local NGO to help our protagonists. The backing track to the performance works as an extension of the emotional, and physical, turmoil characterised on stage to completely envelope the audience in the world of the cast.The one element that let the play down was the inconsistency, between scenes, of the quality of acting. Apart from the two leads, the other women are all in multiple roles, therefore in theory this should not have been an issue. The opening scene of the show is not particularly inspiring; the language sounds staged, the movements are stilted. The quality increases exponentially with the sentiment expressed in the scenes, assuring you that all these people, ultimately, can act well. A recommendation for the future would be for the company not to neglect rehearsing scenes with fewer emotional and political undertones for the sake of perfecting select dramatic moments.This is a must-see play if for no other reason than for the educational content it includes, however everyone can receive a remarkable theatre experience by the end of the performance.

Reviews by Louise Hemfrey

Cluedo

★★★

The End

★★★★

Broken Wing

★★★★

Mah Hunt

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

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Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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The Blurb

The mothers have stopped eating. They need to be heard. Listen to them. Aruna and her daughter are locked in Yarlswood Detention centre. Written by Catherine O’Shea. ‘Transient ... an amazing theatrical experience’ ***** (ThreeWeeks).

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