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). We are also a registered charity in Scotland (SC048141). We are a Living Wage employer and have been awarded Theatre of Sanctuary status in recognition of our commitment to creating a culture of welcome for people seeking sanctuary within the arts. We receive 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 Wort und Herzschlag, was founded by Michael Ruf. ice&fire has produced more than twelve verbatim scripts, seven 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
Director of Actors for Human Rights Scotland
Steven’s first involvement with ice&fire was as a performer in Rendition Monologues. Since then he has been involved in a variety of projects and was instrumental in the creation of the Scottish version of Asylum Monologues which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016 and has since gone on to be performed in a variety of locations – from schools and universities to conferences and festivals.
Based in Glasgow, Steven is currently developing the Actors for Human Rights project in Scotland, creating work that responds to human rights issues across the country. At the moment he is developing Detention Dialogues, a collaboration with Scottish Detainee Visitors.[email protected]
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.
Carlos Maria Romero aka Atabey Mamasita
For World AIDS Day 2018, Maria Romero presented A House of Ecstatic Virality, a dance and movement practice work commissioned by Auto Italia South East in collaboration with HIV activists, Health professionals and volunteers from METRO Charity’s Latinx and Polish communities programme. Using methodologies for communal dance and conversation, the work creates a celebratory, sober, embodied and life affirming environment for people to explore together HIV related issues in a safe, relaxed and supportive manner.
Carlos Maria Romero is currently coursing the Postgraduate Studies in Art at The Royal Academy of Arts. / www.carlosmariaromero.com
Amina worked with ice&fire on What Do I Know in collaboration with the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival. This piece engages with the effects of the war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where Amina is from and launched in July 2018. Further dates planned – stay tuned
Jean Lambert MEP
“ice&fire tell the stories of people who have been dehumanised in the media and reminds of us the humanity that often gets lost in political debates. I’m honoured to be able to support their work.”
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Arts Council England, Trust for London, Big Lottery – Awards for All, Evan Cornish Foundation, Oak Foundation, MSN Trust. We are also a recognised Theatre of Sanctuary.
Individual projects are supported by a number of other funders. Please see project pages for details.