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Duncan Lewis Solicitors partner with Amnesty UK for special theatre production for Refugee Week (20 June 2019)

Date: 20/06/2019
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Duncan Lewis Solicitors partner with Amnesty UK for special theatre production for Refugee Week

Duncan Lewis’ Public Law department have collaborated with Amnesty UK Children’s Human Rights Network to present a special showing of Phosphoros Theatre’s trail blazing show; ‘Pizza Shop Heroes’ at Amnesty International UK on Monday, 24th June.

Solicitor Jamie Bell represented two of the actors featured in the production when they found themselves excluded by the UK’s asylum system and abandoned by their previous representatives who believed their cases did not have sufficient merit to succeed. Jamie successfully represented the cast members – whose Afghan and Albanian nationalities are frequently refused refugee status by the Home Office who do not recognise the dangers there – in their applications for leave to remain in the UK. Phosphoros Theatre provided vital support and crucial evidence to demonstrate the cast member’s key contribution to the culture of the United Kingdom. Following numerous setbacks and lengthy and complex legal battles both were granted leave to remain.

Following the performance, a panel discussion on the rights surrounding family reunion in the UK will take place. The panel will consist of Public Law solicitor Jamie Bell, members of the cast and others.

Pizza Shop Heroes

The play ‘Pizza Shop Heroes’ is the accurate reflection of the experiences that the cast of Phosophoros Theatre had when fleeing their home countries and seeking protection as children.

In Pizza Shop Heroes, four young men working an average shift in an average pizza shop, take the audience on a journey across time and continents to show how extraordinary they actually are. Leaving their homelands of Eritrea, Albania, and Afghanistan as children in order to seek asylum, they explore how they arrived here, what lies ahead, and what they have learnt along the way. It is an autobiographical story of male and cultural identity, family, and fatherhood. Using the company’s trademark warmth and wit, the lived-experience actors share the stage with a refugee caseworker to perform a lyrical collage of memories, hopes, dreams, and imagined realities. From prisons in Libya and Greece, to conversations with absent mothers, to raising the next generation of sons. Powerful, celebratory, affirming, authentic; this is theatre that puts refugees centre stage.

Phosophoros Theatre

Officially recognised as a Theatre of Sanctuary, Phosophoros Theatre began in a housing project in NW London in 2016 for male Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children who came to the UK on their own. The actors have told their ‘stories’ again and again to the Home Office and Social Services via the mouths of interpreters and solicitors, and it is the desire to reclaim their own narrative that grounds Phosphoros Theatre’s illuminating third production.

The event is being held at Amnesty International UK, New Inn Yard, London on Monday 24th June 2019 at 7pm. Tickets are available from the link below with all proceeds going to Amnesty International UK. The event is free for asylum seekers and refugees.

Tickets available HERE

Duncan Lewis Public Law Solicitors

The Duncan Lewis Public Law department continues to be recommended by The Legal 500 with the 2019 edition reporting its 'strong presence in this area of the law, making a particularly dominant contribution in immigration, asylum and prison law.'

The Public law team has experience in all aspects of judicial review claimant work, including obtaining emergency orders and other interim relief to prevent breaches of human rights, following up judicial reviews with actions for damages in both the County and High Court and successfully pursuing judicial review matters to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. A particular focus is the team’s work handling cases of the deprivation of British citizenship and deportation threats, with a niche specialism in challenging the treatment of immigration detainees and other marginalised communities.

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