Powerful story of life at the Yarl’s Wood detention centre

The Scar Test tells the fictional stories of 11 female characters. Picture: William Henry Scott
The Scar Test tells the fictional stories of 11 female characters. Picture: William Henry Scott

A powerful and disturbing snapshot of life inside the infamous Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre receives its world premiere in Bedford next week.

The Scar Test tells the fictional stories of 11 female characters held in the centre, which was described as a “place of national concern” by the Chief Inspector of Prisons in 2015. It is one of a number of around the UK where residents are held awaiting immigration clearance or deportation.

Taking its title from a procedure used to determine whether detainees have undergone torture in their home countries, The Scar Test uses physical theatre, humour and multiple languages to provide an insight into daily life at the centre.

Playwright Hannah Khalil said: “I’d hope it’s a stark warning about what can happen if we start to see other people as different or less deserving than we are. That way absolute danger lies, as we should know from the past.”

The premiere coincides with refugee week and precedes performances in Swindon and London.

The Scar Test is staged at The Place on Wednesday June 21 at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £10 or £8.50 for concessions. Visit www.theplacebedford.org.uk or call 01234 354321 to book.