"Truth about UK asylum systems"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 26/01/19

“Welcome To the UK”, running at the Bunker Theatre in Southwark (next to the Chocolate Factory), is a satirical cabaret show about Britain’s attitude to those seeking asylum. Produced by Borderline, a group made up of professional actors and refugees, and using the idea of a circus as a metaphor for Britain, it is inspired by the real-life experience of several individuals as they try to navigate what is one of the toughest systems in the developed world. These range from victims of spousal abuse, those being persecuted because of their sexuality, to people who have been separated from their families because of the ongoing chaos in Syria.

The piece is filled with references to numerous films, most notably the Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins, and several popular figures make appearances, including Katie Hopkins and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. However, the production is at its most powerful when it lets the fact speak for the themselves, such as the requirement for people to hand over intimate text messages to prove that they are indeed married. While such details may seem exaggerated, they are sadly true – as one of the cast confirmed during the Q&A session following the show.

Overall, a powerful piece, which will move and outrage in equal measure.

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