The world premiere of  Cargo, a new play by Tess Berry-Hart will open at the Arcola Theatre from the 6th July. 


A group of exiles sit in the dark of a container ship smuggling them into another land. But where have they come from? And who are they? As they journey ever closer to their destination in the hope of finding a future, they question what awaits them on the other side, and if those who pose the greatest threat to their safety might be locked amongst them.

Directed by David Mercatali, Tessa Berry-Hart’s play explores just how far people are willing to go in search of a better life.

Cargo is inspired in part by Hart’s experiences as a founding member of Calais Action, a collective run by ordinary people to help to try and tackle the current refugee crisis. The play is based on real life experiences of those involved with the group, while exploring how conflicted loyalties arise when forced to flee their homes, trust strangers and face the possibility of betrayal from those closest to them.

It is a thrilling and personal take on the refugee crisis, that shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

Playwright Tessa Berry-Hart said: “My desire is to give the audience an immersive, visceral experience, as if they were refugees travelling secretly in a darkened cargo container. I want them to consider the questions: What if this were us? How would this feel? What would we do?”

Cast for the production includes: Jack Gouldbourne, Debbie Korley, John Schwab, Milly Thomas. The production will also include set designs by Max Dorey, sound by Max Pappenheim and lighting by Christopher Nairne.

Cargo will appear at the Arcola Theatre from the 6th July until the 6th August. For more information and to book tickets visit:



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