PSYCHEdelight – Borderline

Innovative theatre company that made “a comedy out of a tragedy”

PSYCHEdelight facilitated art-based workshops in Calais Jungle throughout 2015 -2016. Sophie Besse, a theatre director and art-therapist witnessed among the refugees an eagerness for comedy as a way to contrast and express their tragedy. This experience gave her the impulse to create “Borderline” in collaboration with Frank Wurzinger, a professional clown practitioner. The show was the result of 6 weeks devising period with an ensemble of European and refugee performers altogether from 9 different nationalities : Uk, France, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Italy, Palestine, Chile and Sudan.

PSYCHEdelight/Borderline was the Counterpoints Arts artist in residence 2017-18, performing at Platforma 4 in Newcastle as part of a tour that included dates around the UK as well as in Germany, France, Denmark, Switzerland and India.

In answer to the question, “Why make a comedy?” they reply:

Because comedy is just the other side of tragedy, a different way to approach the Western’s response to the situation in Calais: We bounced on its insanity and absurdity! Our aim was also to improve public perception of refugees by conveying a positive image far from the dark one often portrayed in the press. We wanted to show their resilience, their numerous talents and their incredible sense of humor that helped them many times along the painful journey they made to come to the UK.

In 2018 PSYCHEdelight became a Theatre of Sanctuary. Every two weeks they run the Together Workshop in south London, open to all. Their new show is Welcome To The UK.

Photos: José Farinha