Asylum: a timely new play opens 3 May in Sydney

by | Mar 20, 2024

Inspired by the tragedy of statelessness, Asylum explores the forces at play in the choices people make when the clear priority is to save their family.

Set against the backdrop of large scale migration, this play examines the personal stories of Hajir, a young Lebanese man seeking asylum in Australia, and Craig, the immigration officer who will decide his fate.

Directed by Olga Tamara, Asylum stars Chris Miller, Eli Saad, Levi Kenway, Dianne Weller and Emma Burns with lighting design by Mehran Mortezai.

Asylum enjoyed a short preview season in 2017 that was popularly received and critically acclaimed. Now – when its message is needed more than ever – it returns to Sydney theatre.

Playwright Ruth Fingret ( says she likes to put the personal into the political.

“When disparate lives cross, they invariably affect each other. Asylum is a play about where people go when put under pressure:
some flee – literally; some retreat into a rigid system to feel secure; some act out against authority; others fall prey to disintegration and mental illness. This story is about human nature and the choices we make.”

Olga Tamara who directs Asylum was drawn to its raw depiction of dishonesty and emotional disconnection.

“We feel empathy for all the characters despite their bad choices in the attempt to protect themselves and those they love.  This is an intelligent piece of writing that will make us all think.”

May 2 – 12

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