Adah Kay Memorial Commission


In honour of Adah Kay – writer, anthropologist, urban planner and lifelong activist.

With support from the MSN Fund, ice&fire established the Adah Kay Memorial Commission. This fund aims to build on Adah’s legacy with ice&fire, using theatre as a means to communicate some of the most important and under-represented stories.

The fund was used over five years to pair theatre makers and expert witnesses (academics/social researcher/rights defenders/people with lived experience) to create an original play that examines a contemporary human rights issue.

Past Projects


For the inaugural production, we worked with Dr Chris Rossdale and theatre-makers at Teatro Vivo, to explore the relationship between the Middle-East power plays, militarism, mass migration and the arms trade. The resulting work was called #ArmingtheWorld and took place in in outdoor locations across London in September 2017 when the world’s biggest arms fair was in London.

What Do I Know?

The second show was developed with performance poet Amina Atiq, Khaled Ahmed, a self-taught English teacher living in Yemen and the Yemeni community in Liverpool. What do I Know? was programmed at the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in summer 2018 and explored the effects of the ongoing war in Yemen.

We Like to Move it Move it

This show brought political philosopher Dr Sarah Fine together with playwright Amy Ng and Director Donnacadh O’Briain. Our aim was to explore Dr Fine’s research around the ethics of immigration controls and we invited audiences to interact with some of these concepts, creating a welcoming and playful experience that allowed people to examine their own assumptions and beliefs around immigration controls and what is at the heart of them. Made by an all-immigrant creative team and cast, it was performed at community and arts spaces across London in September 2021.

The Sex Ed Musical

The fourth production The Sex Ed Musical commissioned playwright and sex educator Isla van Tricht and composer Guy Woolf to create a verbatim musical about ‘all things sex and relationships’ in the lives of young people today. High quality Sex and Relationships education in the UK has been revealed to be more urgent since the recent Ofsted enquiry into sexual abuse in schools and colleges prompted by the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ campaign (June 2021). The enquiry found that the frequency of harmful sexual behaviours meant that some children and young people consider them to be ‘normal’, and that around 90% of the girls interviewed said that sexist name calling and being sent unwanted explicit pictures or videos happened ‘a lot’ or ‘sometimes’. We interviewed scores of young people who generously shared their reflections and experiences and this formed the basis of the piece. It toured secondary schools across the UK in November 2023.

Current Project

A Fine Idea

The final project is a new play, written by ice&fire’s Co-Artistic Director Christine Bacon. The script is currently in its first draft and is a response to Dr Jason Hickel’s non-fiction book The Divide. This book investigates the underlying structural factors that keep the poorer nations of the world locked into a permanent structural relation of dependency on and exploitation at the hands of the richer nations. Production is planned for 2025.

‘You have a speech in need of an idea and I have an idea in need of a speech’

K is born on the day President Harry Truman announces the concept of ‘international development’ in his inaugural address in 1949. P has forged her career in international development but is haunted by why, after 75 years, global inequality is worse than it has ever been, where 8 billionaires control the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50% of humanity.

Travelling back and forth in time, K and P become protagonists of historical flashpoints which shed light on how we got here. From Thomas Sankara, revolutionary leader in post-colonial Burkina Faso, to Florence Nightingale at the height of the Raj in India, to the Berlin Conference in 1884, to the Diggers movement in 17th Century England, A Fine Idea asks us to look again with clear eyes at the key story affecting the vast majority of humanity today.


Christine and Dr Hickel have had a series of collaborative conversations as the play has taken shape. Dr Hickel has read the current draft of the script and has said:

“Christine Bacon’s play compels us to question dominant narratives about global poverty and inequality, illuminates its real causes, and points to inspiring alternative pathways to a fairer world.  It is grounded in findings from cutting-edge research and intervenes at a time when coloniality and decoloniality have become major points of discussion. This work has my endorsement and I hope to see it on stage.”


Seen one of our shows recently?Let us know what you thought
+ +

Share This

Share this post with your friends!