Rosie MacPherson, Artistic Director of SBC Theatre

This Refugee Week Stand and Be Counted (SBC) Theatre are excited to launch a programme of daily events spanning workshops, live performance, new short films, webcasts of our latest touring production, Where We Began, and Performance Talks. We are proudly the UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary, committed to making work with, about and for Sanctuary Seekers here in the UK and internationally. We make campaign theatre that merges lived experience with new ideas.

We’re delighted to be working with local and national partners to develop work with participants online to present an imaginative, celebratory and hopeful lineup. We understand and recognise the huge challenges in the world right now, particularly for the many we are connected with that are not receiving the urgent support they need. SBC, as a Theatre Company of Sanctuary, has a responsibility to shout loudly about the brilliant, resilient people who ask this country for nothing but safety and friendship. The undeniable strength we see daily, both before and throughout this pandemic, is testament to the value of hope for a better future for all of us. We can’t wait to celebrate with our community, throughout Refugee Week and beyond.

So what are we doing?

We have new works planned with Refugee Council, Northern Broadsides and Artworks, Migration Matters Festival, Bradford Producing Hub and Coventry Welcomes as part of Coventry 2021. After Refugee Week we will be launching new projects with Paines Plough and Elsinor Theatre (Italy) as part of Come to Where I Am and Journeys Festival International.

Together with Refugee Council we are delivering our ten-week Use Your Voice programme for Sanctuary seekers in Yorkshire and are making a digital exhibition of Tales of Love and Loss, featuring five incredible women from across the globe.

Alongside Northern Broadsides and Artworks, with community partners across Calderdale, we are celebrating the area becoming a Valley of Sanctuary. Here I Am, is a live online theatre performance, using artworks from 365 participants, which will premiere on Saturday 20 June, World Refugee Day.

We are absolutely thrilled to be back at Migration Matters Festival this year, premiering our new short film Sanctuary Songs, presenting personal stories of hope through song and featuring regular SBC collaborators Emily Ntshangase and Zoe Katsilerou. We are also presenting a webcast of Where We Began, our acclaimed 2018 touring production, exploring what would happen if a worldwide ban on the movement of people meant every citizen was ordered to return to their place of birth. There will be Q&As with the creative team so we hope to chat with lots of you there!

For Coventry Welcomes as part of Coventry 2021 we will present Creative Skills for Work and Wellbeing, a multilingual online creative workshop. There will also be another chance to watch Sanctuary Songs and Where We Began as well as Performance Talks for Coventry Welcomes and Bradford Producing Hub’s Show +Tell series, exploring our process and advice on becoming a Theatre Company of Sanctuary.

We have been working responsively for ten years and although we can’t be together right now, we remain committed to providing joyful and empowering shared experiences. Our online community is growing rapidly and has enabled us to support more people than ever in all parts of the country. We are doing everything we can and we won’t stop. We are so proud to continue working alongside these exceptional communities and know that together we can and will make change happen.

Full listings (English & Arabic):

Monday June 15th

Sanctuary Songs (film)

8pm – 8.30pm

Tuesday June 16th

Where We Began + Cast Q&A (theatre)

8pm – 9.45pm

Wednesday June 17th

SBC Theatre Performance Talk (zoom)

12pm – 1pm

SBC Theatre Performance Talk (zoom)

7pm – 8pm

Thursday June 18th

Where We Began + Cast Q&A (theatre)

8pm – 9.45pm

Friday June 19th

Creative Skills for Work and Wellbeing (workshop)

2pm – 2.30pm

Sanctuary Songs (film)

5pm – 5.30pm

Saturday June 20th

Here I am (performance)

2pm – 2.30pm

Tales of Love and Loss (film)

5.30pm – 6pm

الإثنين 15 يونيو

أغاني الملاذ الامن (فيلم)

8 مساءً – 8:30 مساءً

الثلاثاء 16 يونيو

أين بدأنا + يلقي سؤال وجواب (مسرح)

8 مساءً – 9.45 مساءً


الأربعاء 17يونيو

الحديث عن اداء المسرح SBC


12 مساءً – 1 مساءً

الحديث عن اداء المسرح


7 مساء – 8 مساء


الخميس18 يونيو

أين بدأنا + يلقي سؤال وجواب (مسرح)

8 مساءً – 9.45 مساءً

الجمعة 19 يونيو

المهارات الإبداعية للعمل والرفاهية (ورشة عمل)

2 مساءً – 2.30 مساءً

أغاني الملاذ الامن (فيلم)

5 مساءً – 5:30 مساءً

السبت 20 يونيو

أنا هنا (عرض)

2 مساءً – 2.30 مساءً

حكايات الحب والخسارة (فيلم) 5:30 مساءً – 6 مساءً


Twitter – @SBC_Theatre

Facebook – SBC Theatre Company

Stand and Be Counted (SBC) Theatre

SBC Theatre is Rosie MacPherson, Hannah Butterfield, Munya Redman-Bayasi and John Tomlinson. In 2016, they became the UK’s first ‘Theatre Company of Sanctuary’ and are committed to making work with, about and for those seeking sanctuary in the UK and internationally. SBC are the resident company at Theatre in the Mill, Bradford.

Since 2016, touring productions of ‘TANJA’ and Where We Began have been seen by over 6,000 people across 56 venues, with over 5,000 project and workshop participants. Recent commissioned partnerships include The Journeys with Third Angel, for Migration Matters Festival and Brighton Festival, The Visitor for Journeys Festival International and new work developed in Germany and Romania as part of Farnham Maltings’ new internationalists programme.

Between 2018-2022, SBC Theatre are a major partner on the Asylum, Migration & Integration Fund (AMIF) programme. They have developed and delivered a Creative Skills for Employment programme, working with hundreds of Syrian families across Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Coventry, Bristol and London.