about Phosphoros Theatre
Phosphoros started in 2015 when Kate was working at a London refugee charity managing a Supported Housing project for young men who came to the UK as unaccompanied minors. One of the residents, Awet, said that he felt like he had a big story to tell and would she help him. Kate assembled a creative team and Phosphoros Theatre was born.
Dear Home Office started as weekly drama sessions in the living room of the house, for the residents and other young men living locally. This evolved into a core group of eight from Albania, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Somalia; some had arrived in the UK weeks before, some had been here for three years, and all had arrived in the UK as unaccompanied minors. The play was written from the ideas they supplied, then the group came to Dawn’s house in Derbyshire for the first of many intensive rehearsal residentials. Dear Home Office premiered at the Southbank in Refugee Week 2016 and went to the Edinburgh Fringe where it was shortlisted for the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award. They then made their second show, Dear Home Office: Still Pending, which toured around the UK, and are currently touring their third show, Pizza Shop Heroes.
As well as informing and challenging audience opinions of refugees and asylum seekers in the summer of 2016 when the ‘Refugee Crisis’ was all over the news, the project transformed the lives of the young actors, most of whom had never acted before or been to the theatre. Now they have performed over 50 times, been on TV, radio, given interviews, talks, even made a film of Dear Home Office.
We make theatre against the odds. The barriers and obstacles we face as a company are many and changing as there are many factors our actors are not in control of, from housing and funding to ongoing asylum claims. All of this is reflected in our shows. Our company tag line is ‘bringing the unseen to light’ and this continues to be our mission statement, making bold, informed, resistant theatre that speaks to our lived realities.