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. The project is now run by Seb Aguirre who became Co-Artistic Director in 2022.
ice&fire has produced more than a dozen verbatim scripts, eight full-scale theatre productions, several participatory projects working with people who have experienced human rights abuses and two podcast series. The company accepts regular commissions. Find out more about our past projects and current work, people and partnership working and follow our social @iceandfireuk for all our recent news and updates.
Co Artistic Director
Co Artistic Director
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]
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
Isla van Tricht
“ice&fire is doing some amazing work bringing people’s stories to life, often where such voices are silenced or go unheard. I’m honoured to be able to help them in any way I can.”
“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.”
“ice&fire really inspires our collective responsibility towards representing a wider spectrum of life experiences and the need to challenge the injustices of the world through theatrical integrity. I want to be a part of that effort and contribute to the journey.”
“The arts have a profound ability to provoke and inspire, to change hearts and minds, and to challenge our assumptions about the world. ice&fire are telling vital human rights stories that need to be heard, and I’m thrilled to be able to support them as a Trustee”
“I’m thrilled to be a trustee for ice&fire. Sharing real-life stories about human rights issues through performance is so powerful. I hope to bring my financial skills and expertise to help ice&fire continue to reach more people”
“As a refugee I know how retraumatising it can be to share a story of such pain and a hard journey again and again. At the same time you want this story to be heard to highlight failures of the system, to advocate for change. I think ice and fire are doing remarkable work in highlighting these human rights issues, amplifying the voices of the unheard. I am honoured to be a trustee.”
We are supported by Arts Council England, Allen Lane Foundation, Aurum Charitable Trust, Big Lottery – Awards for All and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. We are also a recognised Theatre of Sanctuary.
Individual projects are supported by a number of other funders. Please see project pages for details.