Drama. By Sonja Linden.
Cast with doubling of 4 minor roles: 4m. (2 black, 1 Middle Eastern, 1 Caucasian,) 3w. (1 Middle Eastern, 1 Hisspanic, 1 Caucasian.) This striking new play by iceandfire's Sonja Linden was inspired by testimonials from refugees she encountered during her time as writer-in-residence at the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. Five individuals have sought asylum in the U.K.: Zakariya from Darfur in Sudan, Destin from the Republic of Congo, Jalal from Iraq, Parvaneh from Iran and Marie-Elena from Colombia. Each has been forced to flee in the face of death; each is haunted in a different way by the past. At the hub sits asylum lawyer Harriet whose dedication to an increasingly difficult job begins to play havoc with her marriage. The spine of the play is the developing relationship between Harriet; her architect husband, Nick; and her client, Zakariya, who becomes their houseguest after he is made homeless. When her relationship with Zakariya blurs the professional and personal, we are confronted with the question: "Where must we set our boundaries?" Running alongside this central triangle are a number of other relationships: Zakariya with Harriet's client Destin, who bond when they discover they have both been detained as asylum seekers in English prisons; Parvaneh with beauty consultant Marie-Elena, also a client of Harriet's, who find a connection when they realize that each has had a difficult political history in their countries of origin; and Jalal, former professor of Arabic linguistics at Basra University, with Harriet, his boss, in the office where he works as a translator and man Friday. Left to make sense of the "British way of life," they find themselves in situations that veer between the comic and the tragic, all the time endeavouring to come to terms with what came before. Crocodile Seeking Refuge is a story of our times which highlights the plight of those seeking refuge in Britain at the start of the 21st century. Approximate running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes. Various interior sets.