Lampedusa – Soho Theatre

The migrant boat crisis in the Mediterranean is sad. Very sad. In spite of the dangers, they come in waves of incomprehensible numbers. A week ago, Sir Nicholas Winton passed away – a man credited with saving the lives of 669 Jewish children from the holocaust; contrast this with the fact that often a similar number of lives are lost in a single sinking, fleeing from similar atrocities. It is simply too distressing to think of these people as individuals and the media coverage slowly dulls our horror until we become immune to one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent history.  So it is perhaps a good thing that this timely and emotionally charged two-hander reawakens a sense of compassion and redefines just how far we would go for our own loved ones.

In the intimacy of in-the-round, we switch between Stefano (Ferdy Roberts), a man with the grim task of fishing migrant corpses out of the water, and Denise (Louise Mai Newberry), a payday loan collector in Yorkshire; on the surface, two wildly different jobs with little in common – but the parallels soon become apparent: both are doing the jobs that no one else wants, both are condescending and judgmental of their ‘clients’, both resenting their very existence… and yet both find a very human connection in the unlikeliest of places.

My ticket was courtesy of Bargain Theatre. To read the review in full, please click here.

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