The Container: The Journey to Asylum


The Container is a production that is filmed by Digital Theatre inside a shipping container at the Young Vic Theatre. This production tells the story of a group of refugees that are getting transported in the back of a truck's shipping container through Europe to London where they want to ask for asylum. 

By Elena Grantcharski

My first impression is that I really enjoyed this production and I was super impressed by how it was both a short film and a play at the same time. According to the Digital Theatre + website where I watched this production, there was an audience of 28 inside the shipping container with the actors. I found this really impressive because 1) they were able to hide the audience perfectly inside that small container while also basically filming an entire film, 2) the actors were able to act so well in just one take with the presence of a live audience in that tiny space with them. I have never seen such a production before so I think it was really creative and I hope more productions are made in the future this way. I think having the audience inside the container was also a great way to make them feel more immersed in the production.'

In this image, you can spot the audience that is in the container with the actors.

I also really enjoyed the plot of this production. It was very realistic because it showed the struggles of present day asylum seekers. The group of people in the container represent a huge number of people that have to flee their homes due to war or politics in the present day. The conditions in the container are less than adequate. They also hardly get access to water and food and this leads to hostility amongst them. Even though there were moments of hostility, there were also very touching moments such as when the Kurdish guy paid the $50 for the Somali girl and comforted her when she was having a really hard time when her friend was taken for not having money.'

The container was very dark and cramped and the group had an uncertain access to food, water, and other basic human necessities.

Something that really stood out to me was when the Kurdish guy said that 'all governments are bad.' I thought that this was a very interesting observation. He had a child and a wife to take care of but was still thrown out of England. He has tried to get smuggled across Europe more times than anyone else. He does not blame England as a country, he blames England as a government. I think this pointed really well to the fact that there is a flaw in how asylum seekers are welcomed into countries and the entire connotation that is associated with refugees in general. The group mentioned also that they would have to lie when they arrive in England because they have no other choice but to be clever with their words. This gave me a lot more insight into how difficult it is for these people and I am very grateful to this production for putting out more awareness for the issue.'

The group would often try to listen outside the container to figure out if they were stopping somewhere or if someone was coming inside to check on them…or find them and arrest them.

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