Based closely on the story of a real woman and her three young children, The Bundle follows Adilah’s domestic persecution and denial of human rights in Chechnya.
Removed from her Russian homeland by her Chechen father, abducted into a forced marriage and then subjected to a life of servitude, she takes the ultimate risk in plotting her escape to the UK.
Here she finds a home but also encounters the Home Office’s hostile environment’ with regard to asylum seekers and refugees.
The play moves from the tradition of the folk story to that of biting satire as it charts Adilah’s bid for freedom, safety and hope.
‘Last Saturday, Journeymen Theatre performed their latest creation, The Bundle, to a rapt audience at the QARN Conference at Woodbrooke. The Bundle is the story of Adilah, a Chechen woman who escapes to Britain with her children. She comes seeking freedom from an environment of oppression, brutality, exploitation. Adilah is a trained lawyer, trapped in a forced marriage and working in Moscow to pay off her husband’s gambling debts and keep her children safe. She makes it to Britain with her children and finds herself in a different trap.
The Bundle shows us some of the background to our inhospitable environment for asylum seekers and a sense of the head- dominated politics which have created our system. It’s funny, but it’s so sad. And the effects are demeaning for its victims – and for us.
Journeymen performances sit in your head and work. The play is good, quick-fire and funny, engaging. It draws you in, fills your head with images and thoughts. Go, but recognise the risk of becoming involved.
Will Adilah be allowed to stay? Will she be “removed” to Chechnya to be beaten to death? What about her children? Find a performance, watch, enjoy, think, grieve for our country. Thank you, QARN, thank you Journeymen (again).’