Fuzzy tj1
Brooklyn | 2h 30m | Ends Jan 27

The Jungle

From 17 critic and 25 member reviews
Members say: Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

About the show

St. Ann’s Warehouse presents the U.S. premiere of this acclaimed work from London which brings to life the powerful, short-lived, self-governing society of the jungle, a refugee camp in northern France. More…

The play is a remembrance of the now bulldozed camp in Calais, France known as the Jungle, where thousands of refugees who had escaped drought, war, and strife-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East waited for their “good chance” passage to Britain. With minimal resources in the squalid, sprawling landfill-turned-makeshift-camp, immigrants and committed volunteers built a warm, self-governing, diverse society—with restaurants, shops, a school, a church—from nothing.

2h 30m | Ends Jan 27 | St Ann's Warehouse (Brooklyn)


95
New York Stage Review

"This is not merely the story of a triumphant theatrical production. 'The Jungle' is living history, which would make it impressive enough. But the method of the piece inserts 'we, the people,' literally into the action...Patrons are not merely presented with an impassioned representation of this monstrous refugee camp...we are plunked inside the story, inside the migrant camp...The most riveting moments come from John Pfumojena as Okot, the 17-year-old refugee from Darfur." Full Review

95
New York Stage Review

"Extraordinary...A smart, searching, provocative piece the finds hope in this miserable place and questions how and why the world allows human beings to live like that...It’s an immersive experience that puts spectators inside a restaurant in the camp, with the action going on all around us...It both tells a story that’s important and presents that story with such bracing immediacy...The sprawling cast...is uniformly excellent but also a true ensemble." Full Review

90
Lighting & Sound America

"Under the direction of Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, none of these fine actors -- nor anyone else in the company -- ring a false note, even as they scatter through the audience, performing tense and intimate scenes inches away from the viewers...To see 'The Jungle' right now is to experience the forces of history in a way that happens in the theatre only rarely...As this towering work makes clear, mercy must come first." Full Review

90
New York Theater

"A remarkable production...Shows what theater can do at its best to open us up to a world we otherwise ignore...The show makes clear the joy that some felt in this place that had become their home...Such exuberance, we learn, is provisional, abruptly interrupted by the grim reality of their lives, the present only an occasional respite from their gruesome pasts." Full Review

90
Theatermania

“An emotionally jarring production that has been transplanted from London's Young Vic...vibrates with truth through every flattering and unflattering circumstance surrounding a momentary epicenter of Europe's refugee crisis. Led by directors Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, the piece is more an experience than a play, physically and psychologically rebuilding a slice of life to ultra-realistic effect in the middle of Dumbo, Brooklyn." Full Review

85
The New York Times

"The show summons, with uncanny clarity, the vigorous chaos from which a provisional order gradually emerges...There is tension, of course, and apprehension and suspicion...But the clashes are often comic, and the pure energy of actors creating a world of people creating a world of their own is exhilarating...A work of absorbing theater, which uses the immediacy of that art to conjure the paradoxes and confusions of a world dealing with an unprecedented flux of uprooted lives." Full Review

85
The Hollywood Reporter

"It's a stunning feat of design, but it's not the only aspect that makes this marvelously realized production...essential viewing...The work packs a powerful punch in the current political era...The play's writing sometimes lacks cohesion and feels manipulative, making it not always as artful as the production. But 'The Jungle' nonetheless registers with a throbbing authenticity only amplified by the superb performances of the large, multinational ensemble and the virtuosic immersive staging." Full Review

80
The Washington Post

"Anyone who is capable of a scintilla of human decency could not help but be moved by the human face this intense and powerfully immersive play puts on people fleeing oppression in their homelands...To be sure, the two-hour, 45-minute production has its excesses...The drama’s success in imbuing with personality those trapped in the camp...may be its most important achievement. No weak link exists in the 18-member ensemble, and some actors offer particularly vivid accounts." Full Review

55
Variety

"In spite of exquisite design and a substantial production, the play itself is shaky...Despite extreme efforts at verisimilitude, a noble purpose, and a vitally important subject, the storytelling comes across as heavy-handed...substituting atmosphere for dramaturgy...It’s devastating to spend all this time in a room with these characters and in this place, and emerge knowing less than when we went in. Disillusion may be part of the point, but it also feels like a lost opportunity." Full Review

100
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "That you feel the extent of your privilege here is a credit to Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson's piece, an amalgamation of their experiences of the migrant camp at Calais. 'The Jungle' asks us to witness, rather than weep. It demands our empathy, never our pity...This is the most important play of the decade, not just because it covers the big issue of our times so comprehensively, but because it humanises it – and at a time when attitudes to refugees are hardening worldwide." Full Review

100
BroadwayWorld

for a previous production "Even if you've read or heard a lot about the refugees and some of the shocking things they've been through, nothing will prepare you for being in the thick of it as the characters pour their hearts out right in front of you. This is thanks to some stellar work from the entire company...There's no mistaking that this is one of the most vital pieces of theatre ever to grace the stage, at once dispiriting and inspiring - the human capacity for hope in adversity is quite an extraordinary thing." Full Review

90
The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "This is that rare thing: a necessary piece of theatre...If I was overwhelmed by the play, it is because it raises a host of issues and because the production itself seems a mix of the structured and the spontaneous: the evening blends order and chaos, reflections and rants, songs and scuffles in astonishing profusion. It is also powerfully performed...The result is one of those priceless evenings that enlarges our understanding while appealing to our emotions." Full Review

90
Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "It’s morally dubious to call the presentation of such matter 'exciting', but Murphy and Robertson — who spent several months working at the camp — are well aware both of what they want to say and how it needs to be delivered for maximum impact. I don’t think I have ever seen a West End theatre’s space so thoroughly and immersively remade...I don’t think I have ever seen a West End theatre’s space so thoroughly and immersively remade." Full Review

90
The London Evening Standard

for a previous production "Directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, it’s performed with both urgency and wit...Even if some of the characters’ arguments feel too obviously shoehorned in, 'The Jungle' isn’t preachy. Instead it proves tense, moving and courageous. A tribute to hope and resourcefulness, it’s also a sobering reminder of political issues that remain tragically unresolved." Full Review

90
London Theatre

for a previous production "Informed by their experiences from running a theatre at the camp, the two young playwrights have chronicled the desperate, hopeful stories of the camp’s residents in what is a thoroughly affecting piece of theatre. It’s West End theatre like you’ve never seen...Robertson and Murphy do well to avoid the play coming across as preachy, they let the audience feel by simply telling the story." Full Review

90
The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "The music is the beating heart of the show. John Pfumojena’s compositions unite audience and actors through mellifluous harmonies. The Jungle features stellar performances across the ensemble...A transferred production rarely manages to achieve the same energy, the same magic as its original. The West End transfer of 'The Jungle' not only matches the excellence of the Young Vic version, it raises the bar." Full Review

75
Time Out London

for a previous production "Not to be that person, but I did – in between the exhilarating scenes of fevered dancing, singing and drumming, in between the desperate factional squabbles and tense struggles and heartbreaking stories – feel a level of discomfort with the fact that this whole spectacle was engineered by two white writers, and two white directors...Where 'The Jungle' shines is in showing the clash of world-building optimism and utter desperation behind this contested, now lost patch of Calais." Full Review


99
Absorbing, Masterful, Must see, Moving, Important

See it if you’re only able to see one piece of theater all year. It’s that good.

Don't see it if You aren’t going to use the ticket. Let somebody else have the seat to witness this all time extraordinary show firsthand.

96
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Riveting, Great staging

See it if you like fast paced action/dialogue mixed with poignant portrayals of individuals lives. Great acting, writing, staging.

Don't see it if You are not interested in a riveting show about refugees. Some seats seemed less comfortable.

Also Great interaction between the ... Read more Read less

96
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Emotionally gripping

See it if story of a camp in north of France with refuges from many countries who together create a community from nothing; then it gets bulldozed

Don't see it if you have no empathy, want an uplifting Disney story or jukebox musical

Also I read about 'The jungle' in the paper but, even though they were fact... Read more Read less

95
Ambitious, Epic, Must see, Relevant, Riveting

See it if saw it in the UK but am sure it's just as brilliant here. This is vital theater, and brilliantly executed.

Don't see it if Honestly, even if this would upset, offend, or turn you off - it should still be seen by everyone. No one shouldn't see it.

Also Especially in the US where we don't see quite as much news as to what'... Read more Read less

95
Thought-provoking, Masterful, Timely, Political, Living theater

See it if You want to be immersed in an extraordinary thought theatrical experiences. You not only watch the show but feel it.

Don't see it if You don’t like the now political era. Doesn’t have a happy ending but show a message of hope. Seats are not comfortable, long show.

Also Timely living Theater, if interested watch for Extended date or resale... Read more Read less

95
Great acting, Resonant, Riveting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You like agitprop, political Living Newspaper Theater. An unsparing nuanced look at the refugee crisis in Europe- and by extension here too.

Don't see it if Uncomfortable seats. Seriously. The only thing keeping this review from 100 were the benches that you have to sit on for 2.5 hours.

92
Great acting, Profound, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you are interested in the refugee experience.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with the actors being physically close, you don't want to see upsetting theater.

92
Great acting, Masterful, Profound, Great staging

See it if you care about the plight of refugees & want to see true story portrayed by refugees from many countries

Don't see it if you prefer not to think about the plight of refugees or to feel teary

Also The tranformation of the theater immerses you in the camp experience.

90
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging

See it if an exceedingly timely and relevant play about refugees. A must see. Exceptional staging, direction, ​and acting.

Don't see it if you can't sit uncomfortably for almost 3 hours in chairs/benches/floors.

Also I wish the show had included a page of relevant information and terms ... Read more Read less

90
Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you enjoy political and/or environmentally staged pieces. Very relevant and a good conversation started. Wonderful cast.

Don't see it if you can't handle being in the middle of the action. Check trigger warnings if you're sensitive

85
Great acting, Masterful, Refreshing, Resonant, Great staging

See it if you enjoy theater about our turbulent times through the lens of those who lived through them, in an immersive environment.

Don't see it if you're looking for light fare.

85
Diverse, Political, Visceral, Affecting, Polemic

See it if you want to be jolted into considering the plight of migrants in a way you never have considered it before.

Don't see it if you like a clear separation of the space for the audience from the space for the performer.

Also The subject matter in “The Jungle,” the conditions for migrants in Eur... Read more Read less

83
Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if An important eye opening play. Really absorbs you into the setting. Performances are extremely realistic. Great production.

Don't see it if You aren't willing to sit for almost 3 hours in unconventional seating. In the end it's worth it however the show could be a little shorter

83
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Great staging

See it if You want to see politically themed theater concerning immigration/refugees presented in a thoughtful and moving way.

Don't see it if You voted for our national nightmare, Trump.

81
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if A well acted story about the refugee crisis in Europe.

Don't see it if You do not like de er p dramatic plays. If you want a musical or a lighter type show

100
During previews
Ambitious, Intense, Masterful, Must see, Great staging

See it if if you want to be jolted out of your seat and made to care. This is a masterpiece that should be seen by everyone.

Don't see it if nope. Go! If you think you aren't interested in the subject matter then that's even more reason to go.

Also This is the kind of theatre that stays with you. A show that can chang... Read more Read less

100
During previews
Powerful

See it if .... do yourself a favor. Just see it.

Don't see it if you’re not human...if you lack compassion and empathy. Seriously why are you still reading this? Go buy a ticket NOW.

Also Absorbing, relevant, resonant, great acting, great staging.... there a... Read more Read less

100
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Riveting, Great writing

See it if You care about good theater, about human rights, want to see extraordinary acting, writing and staging, and want to be haunted. Stunning.

Don't see it if You don’t like politics in theater, want a feel good show, don’t want to question what you can do to change a life, or just want to laugh.

Also This is not a feel good show, though in a strange way it was. Don’t ta... Read more Read less

94
During previews
Original, Intense, Relevant, Powerful, Moving

See it if you like immersive works that make you think and feel. The staging, acting, writing are all excellent. Timely and relevant.

Don't see it if you don't care about refugees, or don't like in-your-face theater. Seats are somewhat uncomfortable and it's a long show.

Also This was unlike anything I have ever seen. From the moment you set foo... Read more Read less

93
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Must see, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you care about the politics of refugee issues; or you simply want to enjoy a real piece of immersive theater--it really gives you "shock"

Don't see it if you don't enjoy looking backward and forward;

90
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like shows that are timely, topical, and make you think.

Don't see it if You are just looking to escape and have a good time

90
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if This is so different from what 90% of the people attending 90% of what's reviewed on S-S SEE - in entirely good ways - that it is MUST SEE!

Don't see it if You deplore being dubiously manipulated, however good the cause. (more on that in overflow) I'd also criticize St.A for anti-audience things

Also I *get* - but not 100% - the quasi-museum ("immersive" is not quite th... Read more Read less

84
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Profound, Relevant

See it if you want a unique theatrical experience that is chocked full of relevance. Wonderful acting and creative staging

Don't see it if you don't like "in-your-face" theatre. it's very intimate and intense.

80
During previews
Great acting, Compelling, Well staged, One big plot flaw

See it if You want an in the round experience of a compelling refugee story with strong performances. One big plot flaw hurt it (see more).

Don't see it if You don’t like odd non proscenium spaces. My seat hurt after a while. And by gosh RUN to coat check after or you’ll be there forever.

Also They give away the end as the first scene. Really disappointing since ... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you are interested and concerned about the refugee problem and the helplessness and hopelessness of people fleeing the past without a future

Don't see it if the intensity of dispair and hopelessness is overwhelming for you. This is an in-your-face experience that cannot be avoided or tempered


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Cast & Creatives (31)