Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson’s remarkable and courageous play, THE JUNGLE, regarded as one of most vital and important productions to be staged over the past year, has just completed its hugely successful run at London’s Playhouse Theatre, after an initial a sell-out season at the Young Vic and a cluster of five-star reviews. Next month it opens at St Anne’s Warehouse in New York.
THE JUNGLE follows the hopes and despair of the inhabitants of Europe’s largest unofficial refugee camp the Calais Jungle on the northern coast of France, which became the home for more than 10,000 people in 2015. The majority of the original 18 strong cast will be transferring including Ben Turner and John Pfumojena. British-Iranian actor Ben, best known to TV viewers as the nurse Jay Faldren in BBC’s CASULTY and Louis XV in DOCTOR WHO plays the proud but cranky chef Salar who runs the camps thriving Afghan cafe and distrusts the British.
“Ben Turner stands out as Salar, the owner of the Jungle’s main restaurant who fights deep-seated anger at the destruction of his native Afghanistan to become one of the camp’s leaders and peace-makers,” wrote Mark Ludmon in his British Theatre.com review.
Zimbabwean-born, London-based actor and musician John Pfumojena plays teenager Okot from Darfur in Western Sudan with “astonishing intensity of pain” according to the Independent’s Paul Taylor. Sarah Compton’s review for WhatsOnStage said that John provides “the play’s single most moving scene when he explains how his journey has changed him, obliterating the person he was even though he is still only 17.” John also composed the music for the production which The Stage’s JN Benjamin said “… is the beating heart of the show. John’s compositions unite audiences and actors through mellifluous harmonies.”
Both John and Ben signed their respective sketches on Saturday at the stage door, before the final matinee.