Hello colleagues from the charity sector in Oxford,
I hope this email finds you well. I’m writing to tell you about an exciting theatre project, developed in partnership with Afghan Association Paiwand in London, that has performances in Oxford and Reading very soon.
With discussions surrounding the refugee crisis as pertinent as ever, Phosphoros Theatre’s Dear Home Office: Still Pending offers an alternative story to the current conversation. Uniquely performed by ten former unaccompanied minors aged 18-21, all telling their true stories, the performance powerfully presents the very real experiences young refugees encounter when they attempt to build new lives in the UK.
Phosphoros Theatre was born in 2015 and has worked in close partnership with refugee community organisation Afghan Association Paiwand, where I manage the Family Services department. The project started from the living room of Paiwand’s Supported Accommodation for unaccompanied minors, with a group of young men from Afghanistan, Somalia, Albania and Eritrea who had never been to the theatre before – let alone set foot onstage. Fast forward 18 months and this unique company have performed 17 times in London and Edinburgh, had multiple media appearances and a nomination for the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award. We are particularly proud of our show bringing new audiences to the theatre, namely groups of refugee youth and adult members of refugee communities. We make our ticket prices accessible to refugee groups and are happy to discuss this further if you’re interested in bringing a group.
We’d love if you could support our show in Oxford on 30th June at the Pegasus Theatre, or Reading on 13th July at South Street Arts and spread the word amongst beneficiaries, colleagues and partners.
DEAR HOME OFFICE: STILL PENDING
Kareem’s settled in London, but the sudden arrival of his destitute brother forces him to re-navigate the system. Now 18 and independent, but with no refugee status, Elgi tries to stay optimistic despite his college prospects stalling. Failed asylum seeker Akram embarks on a stressful appeal until a chance connection might just be the thing that saves him. Stardom beckons for Filmon who is courted by TV producers – but is his face ‘refugee’ enough?
Dear Home Office: Still Pending features the company’s signature style of comedy, raw talent and celebration as it explores coming-of-age in the most challenging and extreme circumstances.
**** ‘Heartwarming, educational and humorous, this is a bold piece of theatremaking’ THE STAGE
‘Rough and ragged but authentic and heartfelt’ GUARDIAN STAGE TOP PICK
‘Tells us more in a short hour … than we could learn from standard news bulletins in months’. THE SCOTSMAN
‘Bloody brilliant. The authenticity and proximity of them to the story you’re hearing is absolutely remarkable.’ MARK THOMAS
**** ‘One of the best examples of art for a cause’ THREE WEEKS
Friday 30th June, 8-9pm, Pegasus Theatre (Oxford) £13/9
Thursday 13th July, 6-7pm and 8-pm, South Street Arts
Running time 60mins / Age guidance 12+
About Phosphoros Theatre
The cast includes 10 young men from Eritrea, Afghanistan, Albania and Somalia
Phosphoros Theatre is unique in its methodology and holistic applied theatre ethos. With its roots in the young men’s supported housing project in NW London, its co-Directors are Kate Duffy (senior manager at a refugee charity); Dawn Harrison (award-winning TV drama writer), and Rosanna Jahangard (teacher training co-ordinator and theatre researcher).
The company and cast are available for interviews and appearances to discuss the process behind their topical and relevant play. Some of the young men are facing ongoing asylum claims and so identities may need to be protected.
Developed with support from Arts Council England and Afghan Association Paiwand
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