Life is turned upside down in one small town as East Oolia shuts the border with West Oolia, dividing here from there, us from them, this from that despite all the fruit tasting the same. In the midst of it all, Stranger, a young girl’s beloved dog, has gone missing. Will Stranger be found before the border closes, or will she be trapped forever on the “wrong” side?
The Border is a high energy, outrageous Brechtian parable from Theatre Centre that explores the lines we draw between ourselves and other people and the absurdities of borders. The Border will feature original songs and a live break-out debate where one girl, her dog and the audience find their voice – and their bark.
About Afsaneh Gray
Afsaneh is a playwright and screenwriter and winner of The Brian Way Award 2018. She is currently under commission by the Unicorn Theatre and developing short film EVERWEATHER with director Bradley Porter.
About Theatre Centre
Theatre Centre take world class theatre everywhere. We make plays with big heart that empower children and young people to think, act and speak for themselves.
As a playful Brechtian parable, Theatre Centre’s The Border wears its serious side lightly as knockabout cartoon-style antics break out into an audience debate about how to decide what to believe in a complex world.
When a border fence suddenly appears between East and West Oolia, freedom of movement is immediately restricted. The human (and canine) impact quickly becomes clear when Julia (Jazmine Wilkinson) realises her dog Stranger has gone missing and launches a social media campaign to be reunited with her beloved cockapoo.
The multi-roling cast never lets the pace lag: whenever the broad characterisations and gleeful gags about rude-sounding dog breeds veer towards the childish, playwright Afsaneh Gray throws in a knowing joke for older audience members, such as a sly dig at dialectics. As the debate about the border and immigration rages in Julia’s family and beyond, it becomes clear that social media is magnifying and distorting the facts – how can Julia make up her mind amid the information overload?
Things come to a head when Rujenne Green’s blonde-wigged mayor, spouting anti-immigration rhetoric, launches a fourth-wall-busting town hall debate, inviting the audience to explain how and why they form opinions on topics such as Brexit.
Alice Hallifax’s flexible, block-built set, backed by a border fence allows for slick changes as each new scene is announced, complemented by Neill Brinkworth’s starkly effective lighting.
– THE STAGE
Now touring schools, The Border is a fun-filled allegory that brings urgent issues to young people without foisting answers on its audience.
RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes
AGE RECOMMENDATION: 13 +
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