REVIEW: Refugee theatre show - Pizza Shop Heroes.
It’s safe to say the young actors of Pizza Shop Heroes left a lasting impression on the audience - including myself.
The play, performed at Theatre Deli in Sheffield as part of the Migration Matters festival, is based on the lived experiences of the young refugee men who were on the stage.
It’s the story of their journey to the UK and beyond, as well as the tangled web of lawyers, social workers and translators involved in the immigration process.
The show was hard-hitting, real, emotional, funny and the most vocal yet by Phosphoros Theatre.
They aren’t politicians, journalists or lawyers, but they believe they can make a difference to the perception of refugees and asylum seekers. For them, theatre is their resistance.
The details in which each actor shared their story in a third person perspective was artistic and personal. It felt like you were stepping into their lives and made me uncomfortable.
The show wanted to highlight the importance of helping each other regardless of any background.
To quote the show: “The bombs hurt the same, the blood is the same, the tears are the same, the love is the same...we have a right to life. To liberty, equality, to freedom from torture. We are illegal because you made the rules.”
Kate Duffy played an integral part of the performance as the friend, girlfriend, mother and narrator.
Her role was essential to take us deeper into the characters' pasts.
To hear the story and believe that it’s almost the story of the men standing in front of us was awing.
The play also explores what is next to come for the refugees and that opens up interesting debates around fatherhood.
These four actors - Tewodros Aregawe, Goitom Fesshaye, Emirjon Hoxhaj and Syed Haleem Najibi - have bright futures ahead of them and so much life to live. This is the blazing message that the production ends on.