It’s not often that I sit in a theatre and become so caught up in the production that I forget it’s being performed on a stage. I credit this to the amazing actors and the powerful piece entitled When Swallows Cry.
This production which is currently showing at the Market Theatre deals with the issues around migration. The production has three stories that are intertwined to keep the audience hooked to the gripping and moving struggle of the characters who find themselves in unpleasant situations while migrating.
The first sees a white-Canadian man kidnapped and held for ransom so that a struggling village can make due. The second two Zimbabwean men who accidentally land in Australian custody after their boat to Fiji was captured in the wrong waters and their search for political asylum falls on racist ears. The last, a Somalian man trying to enter America and gets denied because another black man, possibly the descendent of a slave decides that he’s too much of a risk, with visa and all.
It’s a constant struggle for us as people to share what we have especially with people coming from other countries. It’s as if we forget that we’re all human beings and all empathy immediately goes out the window. This comes through in xenophobia, abductions and kidnappings in African countries as well as the way migrants are ill-treated in western society. Whether it be for reasons of national security, to protect our living and livelihoods or to keep the unwanted at bay, this production unsympathetically deals with these issues head-on and will leave you with a lot of food for thought.