Brett Bailey/Third World Bunfight: SANCTUARY

19th to 24th June 2018
Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon, Portugal

South African director Brett Bailey has been raising questions about racism and post-colonialism for years. His new work, Sanctuary, is an immersive journey into the surreal terrain of the European Union in crisis, as xenophobia and populism flourish and as surveillance and border controls expand.

Upon entering a prison-like labyrinth, spectators encounter a series of vivid scenes, charged with symbolisms, that convey both the states of oblivion in which so many refugees and immigrants find themselves and the states of insecurity of the European citizens who fear them. Sanctuary considers notions of home: homes lost, homes threatened, and homes yearned for.

Brett Bailey created a sequence of scenes during a two-year research phase, which included stints at several refugee camps around Europe. The cast features eight multilingual performers, ranging in age from 20- to 70-years-old, and includes refugees, immigrants, activists, and interpreters from the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Four performers are from Portugal. The performers departed from Bailey’s scenes to develop fictional characters that confront the rupturing of their sanctuaries.

Artistic Direction: Brett Bailey
Written by: Eyad Houssami
Peformers: Sandrella Dakdouk, Francoise Hémy, Muna Mussie, Robert Ian Ouko, Kibet  Babu, Nidal Sultan, Lionel Tomm, Tom Holman-Shread, Maria José Monteiro, Hadi Alia, Ismail Boali

Technical Director: Miguel Munoz
Lighting Design: Colin Legras
Sound Design: Emmanuil Manousakis
Videos: Catherine Henegan
Sound Technician: Efren Bellostes
Stage Manager: Magd Asaad

Scenography: Ray Studios
Production Management: Barbara Mathers
Production: Third World Bunfight

Co-producers: Onassis Cultural Center / Fast Forward Festival (Athens), Kampnagel Hamburg, Festival de Marseille / ExtraPôle Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Vooruit (Ghent), Teatro Maria Matos (Lisbon), LIFT (London), Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main, Teatro Municipal do Porto and Maillon, Théâtre De Strasbourg – Scène Européenne in association with Third World Bunfight

Lunk to the project:

Photo: Bret Bailey’s personal archive


Bunker AltArt Foundation Maria Matos Teatro Municipal Artsadmin Parc et Grande Halle de la Villette Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival Groningen Santarcangelo dei Teatri Arts and Theatre Institute Festival De Keuze / Rotterdamse Schouwburg Walking Theory

Fond B92 / Cultural Center REX Balkan Express Institute for Applied Theatre Studies