Fit For Purpose

Catherine O'Shea
The Pleasance and End Child Detention
Pleasance Courtyard

The plight of asylum seekers is a contentious issue and particularly for the many children who are detained in interment centres. Aruna, beautifully played by Antoinette Tagoe, is a Somali mother who has brought her 13-year-old daughter Kaeli (Zeni Sekabanja) to the UK.

Their journey to escape the horrors of war, rape and slavery was torturous, nearly dying when their boat capsizes near Italy and finally being incarcerated by the UK Border Agency to the notorious Yarl's Wood detention centre.

Most of the officers are not sympathetic to their predicament and treat them atrociously with a regime of control and constraint resulting in a five-week hunger strike.

A local women's group tries to help them in their quest to stay in the country by providing translators and legal advice.

There were some fine individual performances in this moving poignant story that raised many questions on our treatment of asylum seekers.

Reviewer: Robin Strapp