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.

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Our Story

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.

People

Christine Bacon

Christine Bacon

Co Artistic Director

Biography

Christine was a core member of Actors for Refugees Australia, until she moved to the UK in 2004 to complete an MSc in Forced Migration at Oxford University. She founded ice&fire‘s outreach network Actors for Human Rights and has developed multiple performance and participation projects for the company.Christine is a trustee of Student Action For Refugees and volunteers for Hackney Migrant Centre and The Unity Project. Plays for ice&fire include On the Record; Afghan Monologues, Rendition Monologues; The Illegals; Broke; Seven Years with Hard Labour; Listen to Me; Souvenirs; The Island Nation; Lost and FoundMy Skype Family,#ArmingtheWorld (with Ben Chessell) and What Do I Know (with Amina Atiq) [email protected]
Sebastian Aguirre

Sebastian Aguirre

Co Artistic Director

Biography

Sebastian Aguirre, co artistic director of ice&fire and director of Actors For Human Rights, is a queer human rights activist and theatre practitioner from the Chilean refugee diaspora in the UK. They trained at Central School of Speech and Drama and previously worked at the international secretariat of Amnesty International. Sebastian is also a long standing member of Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants. Scripts for ice&fire include This Is Who I Am. Sebastian is currently running a 9 month participatory arts project with SurvivorsUk. Get in touch at seb@iceandfire.co.uk
Helen Clapp

Helen Clapp

General Manager

Biography

Helen is an actor who first worked with ice&fire in a video for charity Safe Exit, performing the testimony of a sex worker. Since then she has become a regular face in Actors for Human Rights performances and a member of the new Residents group. Other acting credits include The Mousetrap (West End and tour), Home Front (BBC Radio Drama) and numerous performances at fringe London venues including The Arcola, Southwark Playhouse and Old Red Lion. Get in touch at [email protected] 

Associate Artists

PJ Samuels

PJ Samuels

Biography

PJ Samuels is a queer poet and LGBTQIA+ human rights activist .
Isla van Tricht

Isla van Tricht

Biography

Isla van Tricht is a theatre, TV, and games writer and school speaker on sex education. As a writer her recent work includes MONEY (Southwark Playhouse, **** iNews, ‘Ingenious’, The Guardian) Becoming Electra (UK Tour, **** WEE REVIEW), and TITS ‘N’ TEETH (Underbelly, **** THE SCOTSMAN). Her work has been longlisted for The Bruntwood Prize, Verity Bargate Award and Papatango Playwriting Prize. She is under commission to write two new plays in 2021, has had an original TV series commissioned by South of the River Pictures and is under option with Endor Productions for another original TV series. She has been working with ice&fire on a new play that will help young people “feel less alone and less weird” about sex ed topics.
Alice Eve

Alice Eve

Biography

Alice Eve is an interdisciplinary arts Producer based in London. Since 2020, she has worked with ice&fire on ‘In Our Own Words’, a new verbatim musical – for young people exploring ‘all things sex and relationships’.
 
After graduating from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with a Master’s in Creative Producing, Alice has worked in live comedy and podcast production, musical theatre, with social enterprises and educational arts charities. She was an Assistant Producer with Humblebee Creative, contributing to the production of Black History School.
 
Alice is a member of the Almeida Youth Advisory Board and a guest lecturer to both undergraduate and postgraduate students at Russel Group Universities and leading drama schools. She is the co-founder of Mainstay Creatives, which offers development opportunities to young people through engagement with the arts.
 
Ali Ghadery

Ali Ghadery

Biography

Ali is an actor, advocate and activist working for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, inspired by his own experiences. As an actor, he performed at the Globe and National Theatre. He is the funder and director and Babylon Migrants Project and involved with other organisations such as Our Second Home, Counterpoints Arts and British Red Cross.

 

Trustees

Waleed Akhtar

Waleed Akhtar

Biography

Waleed is an actor, whose screen credits include Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (Kudos Film), and most recently 3 girls (BBC 1), Bucket, (BBC 4) and Tyrant (FOX Network). On stage he has predominately worked in new writing for theatre’s including The Birmingham REP, Chichester Festival Theatre, Leicester Curve, Nottingham Playhouse, The Yard and Finborough. While as a voiceover artist he has worked for BBC Radio 4 drama and brands including McDonalds, Google, Kiss FM and Adidas. He is passionate about human rights, and proud to have been an active member of Actors for Human Rights from 2008, having been involved with readings and events across the country. He is now also an active member of the resident committee helping to guide and grow the work of the Actors for Human Rights network.
Morten Thaysen

Morten Thaysen

Biography

Morten is a campaigner and activist. He’s a co-founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, a group of LGBT+ activists taking creative action to challenge the demonisation of migrants in the UK. He works at Neon as a senior organiser working to strengthen organising in UK social justice movements

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.”

Liz Pagett

Liz Pagett

Biography

Liz Pagett is the founder and director of Silver Sea Insight, a consultancy that manages research, evaluation, strategy, and CRM projects for the arts and culture sector. Previously Liz worked in marketing roles for arts organisations such as the National Theatre and Southbank Centre. She has a particular passion for work at the intersection of the arts and human rights/international development, and currently consults for The Freedom Theatre in Palestine and the theatre for development charity Arts for Action. 

“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”

Moud Goba

Moud Goba

Biography

Moud Goba is a lesbian and a refugee in the UK. She is passionate about migration, refugees issues, integration and LGBTQI+ rights. Moud currently works as a National Manager for Micro Rainbow, one of the leading organisations in the UK supporting LGBTQI migrants. She leads the organisation’s safe housing work and oversees the social inclusion, employability and moving on support programs. Moud was one of the founding members of UK Black Pride and is the current Chair of their Board of Trustees. Ms Goba had previously been named as one of the top 100 most influential LGBTI people in the UK by The Independent and was the recipient of an Attitude Pride Award.

“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.”

Neal Shah

Neal Shah

Biography

Neal Shah is a Chartered Accountant with 15+ years industry experience. He is currently a Finance Director for the LEGO Group within their retail division based in London.  Neal started out his career as an auditor at PriceWaterhouseCoopers followed by various finance roles in the consumer goods and travel industries. Neal has experience in working overseas (Australia and India).

“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”

Founder

Sonja Linden

Sonja Linden

Biography

Sonja is an award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced in theatres across the UK and USA.  She founded ice&fire theatre in 2003 with the launch of  I Have Before Me A Young Lady from Rwanda, which was subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio. Other work for ice&fire includes Crocodile Seeking Refuge; Asylum Monologues, Asylum Dialogues, Palestine Monologues, On A Clear Day You Can See Dover and Welcome to Ramallah, co-written with Adah Kay. Sonja now acts in a consultative capacity to the company and has created a new company, Visible Theatre, which transcends and celebrates age.

Our Supporters

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.

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