Unheard voices of migrants aired at new show in Holbeck

ice&fire – the human rights arts charity and theatre company – is staging one-off performances of its ground-breaking ‘Tales from the hostile environment’ across the UK in the run-up to voting in the general election on 4 July.

On Sunday (30 June 2024), it will be staged at Slung Low at the Warehouse in Holbeck, Leeds, LS11 9RQ featuring local actors and other creatives (see below).

The script is based on previously unheard testimonies gathered from UK migrants over 15-20 years, including:

–  Molly who became ‘computer mummy’ to her young children after Home Office rules kept her apart from her British family for a year;

– The university student forced into bankruptcy due to a mistake made by her student loan provider over her immigration status;

– The mum-to-be who was reported to immigration authorities by her hospital midwife.

– The Ugandan sports champion and her girlfriend refused asylum because a judge refused to believe they were gay.

The seven unique performances will each feature a different cast of stage and screen actors and will run over five days, starting in Oxford on 27 June, and ending in London on 2 July.

Find full details of the performance at Slung Low in Holbeck on 30 June here

Each performance will be followed by a panel discussion, involving members of the cast and local migrants’ rights campaigners

The Leeds event is directed by Leeds-based creative Dermot Daly who said:

“New immigrants are often the most maligned people in our society. Their rights, understanding, language and voice are often removed. These verbatim testimonies give powerful voice to experiences that many, not subject to government policy affecting immigrants, may be unaware of. If knowledge is power, let’s collectively empower ourselves through deeper understanding of these experiences, allowing us to edge toward a more just society.”

Entry to the performance will be ‘pay what you feel.’  The actors, directors and producers are giving their time unpaid.

‘Tales from the hostile environment’ was written by ice&fire co-artistic director Christine Bacon, who gathered most of the testimonies on which the script is based over the last decade. She also directs the London performance of the show.

Christine Bacon says:

“The environment for immigrants in this country has been hostile for many decades now and it’s becoming clear to voters that politicians are very comfortable using migrants as punching bags with policies and laws to match. That tactic is getting really old. With this script, we want to remind people what many immigrants here are facing as a result of these policies and the fight that is ahead no matter what happens on July 4.”

Sebastian Aguirre, ice&fire co-artistic director, says:

 “In the 50 minutes it takes to watch “Tales from the hostile environment’, the audience will learn more about the reality of the UK’s immigration policies than we did during the entire general election campaign.”


This post is based a press release issued by ice&fire


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