South East Wales

National Theatre Wales performance tackles illegal immigration

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Media captionBordergame sees audiences trying to cross the border from England into Wales, as reporter Carwyn Jones found out

A live audience can experience life as an illegal immigrant fleeing a country, claims National Theatre Wales.

Bordergame is a simultaneous live and online performance where the audience 'illegally' cross the border by train from Bristol to Newport.

While this is happening, an "online audience" uses cameras to patrol the border and determine their fate.

The company says it is an attempt to understand the issues surrounding border control and immigration.

The play is set in a fictional future where immigrants are trying to flee the Royal United Kingdom of New Britain.

Determine fate

They are attempting to cross to The Autonomous Republic of Cymru, an independent state where health and education systems are still free and there is plenty of work.

Meanwhile, online players will register as Active Citizens of the Autonomous Republic, watch the live players' journeys, manipulate their experiences and even determine their fate.

Bordergame will also have former refugees taking part in the performance and has been developed in consultation with refugees and asylum seekers now living in south Wales.

Image copyright NAtional Theatre Walles
Image caption Bordergame co-creator John Norton

Co-creator and artist John Norton said: "Asylum cases are judged the world over by the stories the travellers tell about themselves.

"It seems that it's not as important that the story is true as it is important that the listener believes it is true - which is the same as in theatre."

Earlier this year, Bordergame won the inaugural Space Prize - a new, biennial £20,000 digital theatre award presented by The Space and BBC Writersroom.

Bordergame runs from 6 November until 21 November.

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