Owl Time

Inspired by a phrase from Virginia Woolf to describe dusk, Owl Time is a gentle production that provides political punch. While focusing on the necessity for humankind to harmonise with nature it follows the story of Matchgirl, who lives in a refugee camp in Calais (known as the Jungle). As she dreams of better times at her now abandoned farmyard home, she finds the help of a spiritual guide.

A gentle production that provides political punch

The duo also highlight the darker perils of human nature, such as institutionalisation. In one instance, members of the police force cause a migrant in Calais to lose 1.2 kilos of blood. The duo argue that there were once no such things as dogs, only wolves, and that humans have also allowed themselves to be restricted, with our minds heavily influenced by the media and establishment.

Another issue raised was the global emphasis on strict international borders. This concept was then undermined by distributing food to audience members that, although commonly consumed in Britain, actually originate from across the globe. Recounting her experience in a Yazidi-Kurd tribe, Matchgirl explained that, in spite of the tribe containing a multitude of faiths, they all respected and cared for one another. She believes this was because of Gaia, the concept that the universe is one living organism.

The interaction continues throughout, with the audience being asked direct questions, such as whether a harmless, contributing individual such as Matchgirl should be permitted to stay in a foreign country. As a result of this performance taking inspiration from the literary genius of Woolf, it is unsurprising that clever wordplay is used to contrast a Parliament of Owls to the government's parliament. However, it did provide some hope that the empty words of MPs may one day grow into positive actions in solving worldwide poverty.

Morpheus Theatre make it a privilege to feel included in the intimate relationship that Matchgirl has with her spiritual guide, as they transform difficult political issues into a worthy and compelling discussion.

Reviews by Oliver Lugg

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The Blurb

Matchgirl is a refugee at a real camp in France, named Jungle in the media. As in the fairytale, she dreams of better times. The camp has been next to Calais for years and there is still no electricity or water - an environmental disaster. Suffering from shell-shock, she imagines returning to her farm.