Mandala Theatre Company's Night Light is a bold and powerful theatrical experience, illuminated by the considerable wattage of award-winning South African writer Nadia Davids' script, Yasmin Sidhwa's assured direction and superb performances from the young leads.
As Theresa May announces the date she intends to trigger Article Fifty, and the process of Brexit begins, free movement of people will become a distant EU ideal, rather than a British reality.
Yet the dilemma explored so passionately in Night Light is one faced by many non-EU migrants: should they stay or should they go? The temptation is to run. Decent, humane asylum support worker Tom (Oliver Davis) believes the best chance to remain lies within the system – even if it can take seven years for an asylum application to be processed.
Teenage runaways Salma (Aimee Powell) and Taariq (Zakaria Zerouali) have lost both patience with British bureaucracy and the rule of law. They are holed up in a disused factory, fearing deportation. Their fears are all too real, heaped on their memories of terrifying ordeals in their respective countries.
Davids shows us how much the teenagers have lost already – their parents, their siblings, their homes, yet on reaching the UK, the coldness, insensitivity and profound uncertainties about their futures give them little comfort, and as the years go by, dwindling hope in the system.
'It's a seven year tight rope' walking 'jittery-like' on uncertain legs, Taariq says.
In a series of explosive exchanges - with Tom the hapless target - authority is vanquished and the tables turned. All the indignities and frustrations since arrival are vented on an innocent. 'Would it have been better to die with everyone else when you're nothing?' Saima exclaims.
She reaches for Shakespeare's Pericles and finds their plight exactly mirrored. The well chosen documentary images of the world's refugees culminates in a single figure: a three year old child lying lifeless on the shingle of a Turkish beach. Alan Kurti seized the world's attention – but paid with his life.
Cold and hungry, dispossessed and desperate within Nomi Everall's dark, oppressive set lit by James Ball's evocative lighting, two teenagers with such resilience and courage deserve so much better.
Mandala Theatre has richly justified its central ethos of 'visceral theatre'.