What would you do if you could never go home?
Phone Home was a transnational project inspired by true stories from refugees. One play, performed across three stages in London, Munich and Athens, interlinked by video-conferencing and broadcast live online. Phone Home was a unique and innovative theatre experience, and a powerful reaction to the political and media discourse surrounding the refugee crisis.
Drawn from workshops with refugees and migrants in three countries, Phone Home was based on real life experiences in a co-production between Upstart, Pathos Theater in Munich, and Highway Productions in Greece. Supported by the Europen Union's Creative Europe programme, the three theatre companies collaborated over the course of a year to develop a show that was eventually performed simultaneously at theatres in London, Munich and Athens with actors speaking live to each other via videoconferencing.
Each national team led a series of workshops working with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to share skills and gather stories. 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.