The Claim is a comically absurd and quietly shattering journey to the heart of our tolerant and fair society. Written by Tim Cowbury (Made in China) and directed by Mark Maughan (Michael Grandage Company), The Claim explores one of the most pressingly global issues facing society today: migration and the prejudice that surrounds it. Accompanied by wraparound activities designed with organisations like UNESCO, The Claim is the only contemporary work to both satirise and humanise everyone around the Home Office interview table.
Serge stands before us. He has a performance to give. But why is he here? What is he claiming has happened to him? And what has Willy Wonka got to do with it?
The Claim gently invites you into the most British of interviews, then morphs into a dizzying onslaught of bureaucracy and prejudice. The play simultaneously abstracts and faithfully charts the journey of a single asylum claim. A bold, imaginative response to the stories of those seeking refuge in the UK, The Claim asks what happens when your life is at stake and all you have to save it are your words.
Using much first hand research into the refugee experience in the UK, the creative team have spent two years researching and developing the show by spending time at immigration courts, working closely with asylum seekers and refugees and working with representatives from migrant organisations. Key organisations the team have worked with include: Freedom From Torture, GRAMNet, Counterpoints Arts, Right to Remain, Ice and Fire and Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre.
A comprehensive programme of wraparound activities will provide audiences and participants with safe spaces for learning, reflection and dialogue. Activities include: a specially commissioned series of testimonies written by refugees in collaboration with Freedom From Torture, one-off legal surgeries for those soon to face the Home Office interview, post-show discussions, Q&As and much more.
The Claim seeks to not just raise awareness, but to ask bigger questions of the UK’s relationship with asylum seekers.