The UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary, Stand and Be Counted present a wild and vivid vision of the future, combining storytelling, movement and live music.

Five performers from across the globe challenge existing notions of ‘home’ in a multilingual celebration of personal identity.

Tonight and tomorrow a performance takes place at Theatre  in the Mill Bradford - part of a 23 night national tour ending in London on October 28.

‘Where We Began’ centres around Tafadzwa Muchenje, an artist born in Zimbabwe, who SBC are currently supporting with a Home Office appeal to stay in the UK. Tafadzwa (Taf) is joined by internationally acclaimed artists Fernanda Mandagará, Shireen Farkhoy and Zoe Katsilerou; each portraying their autobiographic accounts of displacement which explore the free movement of people.

Rosie MacPherson Artistic Director of SBC says: “‘Where We Began’ is SBC’s biggest collaboration to date - taking our work to a new level with a multi-skilled cast from across the world. 

“ Taf came to see our production of ‘TANJA’ in London in 2016 and was visibly affected during and after the performance.

“We met with him the following day and discovered the reason for his distress lay in his struggles to remain in the UK and fight for his citizenship.”

Taf was born in Zimbabwe and brought up in South Africa from the age of six months to ten years, after which he and his family moved to the UK on a Highly Skilled Migrant Visa.

Since turning 21 he has been faced with deportment, meaning separation from his family,  who have all been granted permanent residency, his partner and friends. 

The Home Office wants him to return to Zimbabwe, but he has no family, friends or links there and does not speak the language. His appeal has recently been accepted but is still in progress and while so he is unable to work, continue his studies or hold a passport or travel. As a result he draws deeply on his own experiences and situation in the role he plays.”

Written by SBC’s Rosie MacPherson who also performs in the production, ‘Where We Began’ is directed by SBC’s Hannah Butterfield and produced by John Tomlinson.

It is funded by Arts Council England, commissioned by Camden People’s Theatre, Cast and Theatre in the Mill and supported by the ‘Bridging The Gap’ touring scheme.

Taf says: ‘’This performance has truly opened my eyes to the amount of people that are desperate to know what is happening in their country. People are unaware and it’s refreshing to see people in the post-show discussions openly talk with passion, anger and sadness at what has happened to me and countless others. It’s important for me to see this because for me it’s about sparking the debate and getting people to open their eyes and see what is happening in their communities.’’

John Tomlinson, SBC producer, says: ‘’ We've had a really positive response to this work across the tour so far and can't wait to bring it to Bradford. Theatre in the Mill is a really special place and we're so grateful for their continued support and championing of new work.’’

*Stand & Be Counted, The UK’s first Theatre Company of Sanctuary, perform ‘Where We Began’ at Theatre in the Mill tonight and tomorrow. The post-show discussion on Saturday is BSL interpreted.

*Tickets: £10 Full/£6 Concessions/£4 Discounted. Call 01274 233200 or email