ice&fire explores human rights stories through performance. We put human rights at the core of everything we do to make accessible theatre for a wide range of audiences across the UK.
We are a company with a distinct and determined voice, developing original theatre pieces from human rights testimony and documentary evidence. Each piece is shaped by the real people and communities with whom we closely work. From full-scale productions to making small pieces with vulnerable groups, our theatre-making is renowned as provocative, principled and innovative.
We believe that through theatre we can bring unparalleled understanding and empathy to some of the world’s most urgent issues. We want to empower people and communities to express their rights through the power of sharing stories and transporting performance.
It is our mission to inspire artists and audiences to create positive change in the world through human rights.
ice&fire is a registered charity (1118200) and a company limited by guarantee in England (4648400) and receives no regular statutory funding. To support our work, please visit our Justgiving page where Gift Aid will add 25p to every £1 you donate
In 1997, playwright Sonja Linden set up a new project for Freedom from Torture. ‘Write to Life’ was a therapeutic and creative venture for clients, allowing them to record their stories not simply as victims but as artists in their own right. It was hearing one particular story that motivated Sonja to write her play I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda in 2003. Sonja joined with Sara Masters to produce the play, and ice&fire theatre was founded. Young Lady from Rwanda was a sell-out in London and went on to have a national tour and more than 30 productions world-wide, as well as a BBC radio recording. Sonja continued at the helm for five years before stepping down to focus on her writing, handing over the artistic direction of the company to her long-standing colleagues Christine Bacon and Sara Masters (who left in 2010). Christine had joined ice&fire in 2005 and founded the Actors for Human Rights project, converting grassroots activism on human rights themes into an artistic movement. Inspired by and mentored by ice&fire, a similar German network Bühne für Menschenrechte, was founded by Michael Ruf in 2009. ice&fire has produced more than twelve verbatim scripts, six full-scale theatre productions and five participatory projects working with people who have experienced human rights abuses. The company also accepts regular commissions. Find out more about our past projects and current work, people and partnership working and see our blog page for all our recent news and updates.
Joint Director, Actors for Human Rights
when she established Proact, a nationally renowned theatre and training company.
Her extensive research into domestic abuse led to her devising a unique
performance and educational programme which gained recognition throughout the UK
as recommended training for professionals across a variety of sectors including
the Crown Prosecution Service, police, health authorities and housing
departments. She subsequently became the north-east of England’s first ever
Domestic Violence Co-ordinator for NSPCC developing new policy and practice
guidance initiatives to protect survivors of abuse before working as a film
maker and writer in residence in Women’s Aid refuges. Her recent work includes
facilitation of advocacy projects with young people at risk of sexual
exploitation, devising awareness raising performances with refugees, adults with
learning disabilities and people living with dementia. She has produced short
films with children overcoming abuse and survivors of honour-based violence and
forced marriage. Sue is dedicated to creating a platform for under-represented
voices to be heard, seen and understood and works alongside IAF in delivering
their AFHR outreach programme.