about Phosphoros Theatre

Photo by Kate Duffy

Photo by Kate Duffy

 
 

Phosphoros started in 2015 when Kate was working at a NW London refugee charity called Afghan Association Paiwand, as a project manager on a Supported Housing project for 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 after a successful Arts Council application, Phosphoros Theatre was born.

Dear Home Office started as weekly drama sessions in the living room of the supported house, for the residents and other Unaccompanied Minor young men. 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. 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.

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 forty times, been on TV, radio, given interviews, talks, even made a film of Dear Home Office. (watch this space for the release date!)

We call our work radical Applied Theatre against the odds. The barriers and obstacles we face as a company are many and changing as there are many factors the young men 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 revealing, authentic, resistant theatre from the lived realities of our Phosphoros family.