Archive for August 23rd, 2017

DEAR HOME OFFICE 2: STILL PENDING

Dear Home Office 2: Still Pending

Featuring ten real male refugees from Afghanistan, Albania and Somalia each playing fictional characters based on their real life stories Dear Home Office 2: Still Pending is perhaps not the most accomplished show on the Fringe but it must certainly rank as one of the most moving.
Exploring how escaping their homeland may dilute one problem but when they arrive here there are a whole other set of hurdles to overcome. Amongst these are visas to guarantee citizenship, education, housing and even the basic right to remain here at all. The production utilises various short scenarios to highlight the plight of refugees and the bureaucracy and prejudice they face.
Elgin, an eighteen year old Albanian, desperately wants to improve his life chances and enquires about business courses and realises that due to his asylum seeker status and the £16,000 a year tuition fees this is simply not an option open to him and therefore finds himself on child care course instead.
Akram has his asylum status refused and evenm though he eventually wins his appeal his eventual victory has been soured by the inadequate advice and help he received during the process.
Another has his dreams of being a Hollywood star dashed when a Syrian refugee wins the oart he is after as Syria is more current and on trend. Yet another finds the whole situation too much and drowns himself in despair.
The whole premise of this show won me over but it was more the message it put across than anything happening on the stage. The acting and scene changing are positively clunky and rather inept to say the least. However any sense of frustration I felt at its conclusion was more to do with the plight of those involved rather than any ineptitude in the performances. Uktimately it is theatre with a cause at its core and a message in its heart.
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Dear Home Office 2: Still Pending is on at gilded Balloon at 2.30pm until August 28th.

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