Drawn from workshops with refugees and migrants in three countries, Phone Home
is based on real life experiences in a co-production between the UK's Upstart Theatre, Pathos Theater Munich, and Highway Productions in Greece. In an impressive feat of international collaboration and co-operation, the show will be performed simultaneously at theatres in London, Munich and Athens with actors speaking live to each other via videoconferencing. After more than a year in development, this timely production dramatises these experiences in a powerful reaction to the language of politicians and media. From a village in Switzerland that decides to pay a fine rather than let in asylum seekers, to a refugee who phones an activist in Barcelona from the back of a lorry in England to get help, to a far-right militant group who are followed by people dressed as clowns, Phone Home is a collage of stories inspired by true events. It projects the starkness of prejudice, double standards and lies in stories that cross borders with a dark sense of humour grounded in careful research. Each national team has led a series of workshops working with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to share skills and gather stories. In March, Upstart worked with a group of eleven asylum seekers in Birmingham, predominantly from Africa and Pakistan, who came to Upstart via the Birmingham LGBT Centre, who had to leave their countries of origin because of their sexuality. They later worked with Action for Refugees in Lewisham. Upstart have worked alongside Fairbeats, a music charity for young refugees and asylum seekers, and Write to Life, the writing group run by Freedom from Torture, the only organisation in the UK dedicated solely to the treatment and rehabilitation of survivors of torture. As part of Phone Home's contribution to Refugee Week, Upstart interviewed members of Write To Life about what home means to them: Performed live across three countries, theatre companies from the UK, Germany and Greece collaborate to relate the experiences of refugees and migrants in their search for homePresented by Upstart Theatre. Presented by Pathos Theater Munich. Presented by Highway Productions. Director Yannis Kalavrianos. Director Tom Mansfield. Director Michael Sommer. Design Hannah Sibai. Director Jennifer Jackson (movement director).