Asylum Monologues

(Launched June 2006)

Scripted by Sonja Linden & Christine Bacon

The first script created for our Actors for Human Rights project, Asylum Monologues is a first-hand account of the UK’s asylum system in the words of people who have experienced it.

The script is regularly updated and because we have a large number of different testimonies, it can be adapted for bespoke events which may have a particular focus (e.g children in the asylum system, access to health care, etc). We have also developed a Scottish-specific script which was launched at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016. Click here to read a report by Dr Grit Wesser about a recent Scottish Asylum Monologues event. We also launched a This Is Who I Am, specifically about the challenges faced by LGBTQI+ people in the UK asylum process in 2017, more info here.

Launched at Amnesty International in June 2006, it has been touring the UK ever since and can be performed on request. Book a performance now.

“This waiting for the Home Office to decide – me, I always say that it is a diplomatic form of torture. They are not raping us, they are not burning us with cigarettes, they are not hitting us with guns, but they are torturing us mentally, and that’s the worst. Because – my scars, they heal. It was painful but if I touch them now, I feel no pain. But the torture that is mental – this is constant…”

‘It really brought home just how easy it is to demonise asylum seekers and just how ignorant a lot of people are about the issues, including myself.’ – AUDIENCE MEMBER, OXFORD

‘Thank you so much for the contribution of you and your colleagues on Friday. The feedback was good to very good (the highest rating) and was one of the best received events we have put on.’ – NIC BUNKER, DIVISION OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

‘This was not what I expected. I was expecting some kind of inauthentic moralising verbatim theatre experience. The acting (in Asylum Monologues) was delicate, minimal, allowing the words to speak for themselves. Although we know it must go on, it’s still shocking to hear the first-hand accounts of people devoured by the heartless machine of bureaucracy. This was brave, honest, close to the bone.’ – OXFORD THEATRE REVIEW

‘Even those of us who volunteer with refugees will rarely, likely never, hear a large portion of someone’s story. In ice&fire’s performance, the chilling truth of the hidden and cruel inequality affecting asylum seekers in British society is laid bare, in front of you; in a safe comfortable space, I heard the truth of people’s lived experience, the mental trauma, the physical trauma, the heart tearing decisions & and the scars this leaves behind. The only thing you want to do having heard their narratives is stand up & change the system.’ – Audience member

Hear Christine Bacon speak about the genesis of Asylum Monologues

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