Artists and Activists

The Love Letters to the Home Office play has been performed in London and Edinburgh so far.  To request a performance near you, please contact info@lovelettershome.org

 

London

The London performances were at Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) the week before the 2015 General Election.

The artists involved were:

Arinder Sadhra – Love
Arinder is a second-generation British/Indian whose family migrated from Punjab, but she was born in Hillingdon. Aged just a few months she moved to Birmingham then returned to Hounslow aged 8, but left again as soon as she reasonably could because Hounslow became too small. At 15, much to her parent’s dismay and panic, she expatriated to Brixton, but returned home a few months later due to age restrictions! Later she landed in North London, and loved being thrown into the unknown at the age of 21. She spent time travelling up and down the country visiting friends and making the whole of the UK her home. From there she migrated south towards Pimlico. She came to the arts in her 30s as she felt an urge to fulfil her creativity as a human being and to tell the stories of those who often don’t have a platform to be heard. Coming from a migrant family, a sense of movement and exploring is deep within her bones. Although she ultimately hopes to live between New York and somewhere in South America, a big part of her heart resides in Lancashire.

 

Kathryn Delaney – Peace
Born in Widnes to a Welsh mum and English dad, Kathryn moved to Stratford on Avon after college for ‘The Year Out Drama’ course before going back to Widnes and then to Sidcup to study as an actor musician at Rose Bruford. From there she came to Central London, then Clapham, then back home again to care for her mother. She’s toured around the UK and to China, which isn’t really migrating but has broadened her world, and she has now started a drama, performance and singing education business for young people back in Chester. She’s shocked at how she – like many people in the UK – actually knew very little about this topic until just a short time ago, but now thinks it is “bloody appalling” and wants to create more conversations about it.

Trevor A Toussaint – Freedom
Trevor is the first generation of the second wave of post World War Two English speaking Caribbean Immigrants who settled in London in the late 1950’s. His migration saw him return to the land of his parents, Grenada, where he lived and was schooled for a few years before migrating back to South London where he’s resided off and on for the best part of 45 years. His acting/singing/directing has enabled him to live, work and connect in Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Jamaica, Venezuela, America as well as Every major City in Britain. He’s collaborated/performed with migrant performers from all over the Globe including but not exclusively, Angola, Ghana, South Africa, Brazil, Japan, Malaysia, New-Zealand, Trinidad, Scotland and Wales.

Wendy Watts – Power
Wendy grew up in the leafy green Shire of Devon, before migrating 200 miles up the road to the Big Smoke. After a degree in Theatre and a postgraduate in Acting she still lives in the big city of London, and is happy to stay put in this city she loves for the time being. She has however migrated from the North to the South of London- to the sunny side of Tooting where she resides as an actor.

‘Never Before’ – Poem Written and Performed by Mr Gee
From humble beginnings as a Hip-Hop DJ, Mr Gee honed his spoken word skills as the host of the renowned performance poetry club Brix-Tongue and Chill Pill and is now one of the stars of the UK poetry scene. He has performed at the New York Nuyorican Poets Café and the Black Lily night in Philadelphia (home to Jill Scott and the Roots), as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Latitude Festivals. Most recently Gee presented new Radio 4 series, Poetic Justice, encouraging inmates to write poems that gave an intimate insight into prison life at different prisons across the UK.

‘Star Crossed Lovers Divided’ – Poem written by Jen Davey
Jen is a Londoner born and bred. She is a writer & stage manager. Jen has two spiritual homes: Shakespeare’s Globe on the South Bank and downtown Manchester. Her career is diverse and includes cueing battle sequences in the baking sun and during thunderstorms, working on Kingston 14 at Theatre Royal Srtatford East, and multiple shows at The Bush.

Writer & Director – Katharine Rose Williams Radojičić
Katharine Rose was born in London and spent her early years by the Thames. Her family migrated to Oxfordshire for economic reasons, and then later moved up to Yorkshire where the moors meet the coast. Her local theatre was the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and she spent every second she could there.

At the age of eighteen, Katharine Rose moved back down to London for drama school and these days lives less than a mile from her first home. She has been back here for seventeen years and yet she still misses the sea like a heartbeat. Katharine Rose has worked as a lighting designer in drama, music, dance, opera and physical theatre for fifteen years. She has travelled extensively with work in the UK, Europe, the Far East, the USA and Mexico. She has worked with some of the loveliest and most talented artists and practitioners she can imagine, and was once nominated for an award for a show that included a lighting effect made from an egg whisk. Katharine Rose has travelled extensively in the South Eastern Balkan Peninsula. She first fell in love with Bosnia, then Croatia, then Serbia, then Montenegro, then Macedonia.

Love Letters to the Home Office is her first full length work to be performed.

Historically, Katharine Rose’s family come from Yorkshire, Lancashire, Devon and the Isle of Man. One of her ancestors is a Spanish pirate.

Producer & Production Manager – Jason Meininger
Jason was born in Michigan and spent much of his youth migrating around the US, spending time in Illinois (twice), Kansas, Ohio, Arizona, New Jersey and Washington State where he completed his MFA in Theatre Lighting Design. A decade and many, many shows later, he jumped the pond to the UK. An avid consumer and occasional creator of theatre in London, he also now holds a UK passport, which means he can be politically active again. As a result, he is proud co-publisher of the Love Letters to the Home Office book, and producer of this show.

‘Immigration Game’ & Assistant Producer – Emma Tompkins
Emma grew up on a small island in the Thames.  She studied Theatre Design a hundred and thirty miles away right next to a different river in Nottingham. She migrated back home after uni but headed to London because of non-extreme  Thames flooding: so that she didn’t have to cross a wooden bridge that would occasionally be submerged in flood water in order to leave the house. She continues to work as a designer and devisor for theatre.

Sound Design – Richard Jackson
Rich was born in Stevenage to parents who came from New Zealand and Enfield. He got roped into theatre in secondary school and hasn’t looked back. He migrated from Hertfordshire to London in 2013 to study theatre sound production in the BA Hons course at Mountview.

Video Design – Daniel English
Dan grew up near Chepstow, where he was drawn to the technology of the theatre in secondary school. He went on to study production arts in Bristol and made his big migration to London just 18 months ago for the BA Hons course at Mountview, finishing in August, primarily focusing on video, lighting, and technical production. His first production was teaching children about the effects of drugs, and likes being part of work that can make a difference. He’s found it upsetting that people’s human rights are being limited if they earn less than others and surprising the UK would tie family life to money at all.

Documentary filmmaker – Mariam Rashid

Mariam’s mother is British born (but moved to Pakistan at a very early age and grew up there) while her father is Pakistani born. She herself was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Her brother has spent the last two years in Japan and she has an interest in travel, applying for a year abroad as part of her degree. Her study of Physics may see her migrate later in life, but probably not to another country. She thinks the courage required to uproot your life is incredible and she greatly condemns the unjust extra barriers put in place by the government.

 

Edinburgh

The Edinburgh performance was at Paines Plough‘s Roundabout venue at Summerhall on August 2015 as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.

The artists involved were:

Bethan Mair-Hughes – Stage Manage
Born in Wales, Bethan studied at Drama school and became a freelance production, technical and stage manager using her diverse skills in theatre. Bethan was unaware of the difficulties of marrying outside EU until Katharine, a good friend and colleague, explained her situation. It has to stop and being the Stage manager for ‘Love Letters to the Home Office’ is her way of helping the change.

Daniel Bye
Daniel Bye is a theatre maker from Middlesbrough. His current show, Going Viral, is running at Northern Stage at Summerhall until 30 August, before touring in the autumn and spring. Other recent work includes Error 404 for Polka Theatre (also touring autumn and spring), How to Occupy an Oil Rig and The Price of Everything. Near future/imaginary work includes a commission for Live Theatre, Newcastle, Stuck by Sarah Punshon (as performer, touring spring 2016) and Tiny Heroes, a show about everyday heroism in the face of a world that doesn’t want you to help. He once had a bit of trouble getting a visa for India, but he’s white, so it was fine in the end.

Jerry Killick
Jerry was born in Seremban, Malaysia (although at that time it was called Malaya) and moved to Europe at the age of one. He then spent the next ten years of his life moving between Germany (at that time it was called West Germany) and the UK. He went to school in York, attended University in Exeter, which included a year in (West) Germany, then spent a year teaching in Spain. Jerry has since worked in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Lebanon, Egypt, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, Colombia, the USA, Canada and Australia.

Jerry has only been stopped once at a national boundary, St. Pancras International about a year ago where they spent about two minutes searching his bag and let him go. He holds a British passport. Whenever he’s had to fill out a visa application he’s got a bit pissed off but he’s never been refused. His children live in London, which is where he resides whenever he’s not working. At the moment he’s in Edinburgh.

Katharine Rose Williams Radojičić – Writer
Katharine Rose was born in London and spent her early years by the Thames. Her family migrated to Oxfordshire for economic reasons, and then later moved up to Yorkshire where the moors meet the coast. Her local theatre was the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and she spent every second she could there. At the age of eighteen, she moved back down to London for drama school and these days lives less than a mile from her first home. She has been back there for seventeen years and yet she still misses the sea like a heartbeat.

Katharine Rose has worked as a lighting designer in drama, music, dance, opera and physical theatre for fifteen years. She has travelled extensively with work in the UK, Europe, the Far East, the USA and Mexico. She has worked with some of the loveliest and most talented artists and practitioners she can imagine, and was once nominated for an award for a show that included a lighting effect made from an egg whisk.  As a writer, Love Letters to the Home Office is her first full-length work to be performed.

Historically, Katharine Rose’s family come from Yorkshire, Lancashire, Devon, Scotland and the Isle of Man. She has travelled extensively in the South Eastern Balkan Peninsula. One of her ancestors is a Spanish pirate.

Lucy Ellinson
Daughter of a northerner and southerner, of Liverpool and London, Lucy was born in Chester and a few months later traveled 15.9 miles across a border and into North Wales (where her parents had first met & fallen in love some years before).  Teenage day tripping to Liverpool and Manchester, study in Yorkshire (the proud northern cities of Leeds! Sheffield! Bradford!) & then, somehow, in London.  Now, working in theatre, touring so much of each year, she feels like she is always moving.

Never “been travelling” but has had the huge privilege to travel to different places through work.  Knows the privilege that her passport awards her in airports (& everywhere else).  Furthest points North South East West ever reached are: Göteborg, Essaouira, Yerevan, San Francisco. Once travelled 4,000 miles for a cup of coffee with someone and now does that journey alot. Considers herself to be a Scousewalian. Says “bath” not “bath”.

Pins on the Map: Harlem, Berlin, Mannheim, the vale of Llangollen, Thornton Heath, Beirut, Plymouth, Minneapolis.

Natasha Smith
Natasha is a first and second generation Jamaican descendant. Her father born in Kingston Jamaica was sent to live in London ages 9 and was raised by his aunt; and her mother was born in London to Jamaican born parents. Although she grew up in South London, Natasha’s parents thought she’d be better educated in Belgravia which is where she and her siblings attended both primary and secondary schools.  Natasha also went to school on Saturday’s at the Centre for Young Musicians where she studied both violin and piano to a high standard.

It was difficult adjusting in these environments as there weren’t many migrant people to identify with, but now having a family of her own Natasha realises that no matter where you are born, knowing yourself and being yourself is paramount. Finding a release in comedy, Natasha is now performing at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Racheal Ofori
Racheal Ofori is a born and bred Londoner. However her mother migrated from Ghana is her twenties and has lived in London ever since. Being born and bred hasn’t detached her from her roots as she makes regular visits to the mother land!

Racheal experienced primary and secondary state school education before being awarded a scholarship to study at Lancing College for her A Levels. She then graduated from Italia Conti Academy in 2013 and has since worked in both theatre and television. She played Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Tooting Arts Club Theatre Company and later Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeares Globe Theatre. Her work on television includes BBC’s Wizards v Aliens.

She is currently performing in her first solo show Portrait, which is playing at the Pleasance Dome and which will be followed by a UK Tour.

Richard Jackson – Sound Design
Rich was born in Stevenage to parents who came from New Zealand and Enfield. He got roped into theatre in secondary school and hasn’t looked back. He migrated from Hertfordshire to London in 2013 to study theatre sound production in the BA Hons course at Mountview.

Stacey Sampson
Stacey is an actress and writer from the exotic borders of Sheffield and Rotherham. Junction 31 of the M1 to be precise. She grew up in the same house as one set of grandparents and across the road from the others. She now lives just 20 minutes away in central Sheffield. She is a homebird, but makes pieces of theatre and television that take her far away, sometimes metaphorically, often literally. She is an Associate Lecturer for Sheffield Hallam University in Acting for the Screen and is currently working with several organisations that support homeless and rootless people. She has written a novel set in the tiny ex-mining village she went to school in. She wants to give forgotten places and people a voice.