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Borders & Crossings

Writer & Performer
Inua Ellams
Bijan Sheibani
Mylène Gomera, Ṣọpẹ́ Dirisu
7 Jan - 10 Jan 2021

Fuel presents Borders & Crossings by Inua Ellams at Under The Radar Festival 2021

Born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother against a backdrop of sectarian violence, Inua Ellams left Nigeria for England in 1996 aged 12, moved to Ireland for three years, before returning to London. An award-winning poet, performer, playwright, graphic artist, and designer, Inua returns to the theme of migration in his work, exploring his own life experiences and wider global and political questions. Borders & Crossings is an opportunity to get to know Inua and hear some of his poetic and dramatic work on this theme, live and online from London.

Inua Ellams started performing in cafes in 2003 and has since worked in venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and Glastonbury Music Festival. He is the recipient of an Edinburgh Fringe First Artist Award for his autobiographical winning play The 14th Tale. He has also undertaken several commissions, including those for Louis Vuitton and Soho Theatre. Following two sell-out runs at the National Theatre and a world tour, his play Barber Shop Chronicles (A Fuel, National Theatre, and Leeds Playhouse co-production) also ran at the Roundhouse in 2019. His adaptation of Three Sisters was co-produced by the National Theatre and Fuel in 2019-2020.

To kick off 2021 we are very excited to be showcasing Borders & Crossings as part of Under The Radar, the NYC based Public Theater’s annual festival celebrating new theatre and performance.

For the first time in its history, the festival is taking place online and for free from 6-17 January. For more information, and to book your free ticket for Borders & Crossings, click here.

The performances of Borders & Crossings are supported by Arts Council England, working in partnership with Manchester International Festival to support England based artists to appear at Under the Radar.


Performance dates

(Eastern Standard Time)
(Coordinated Universal Time)
7 January 5PM 10PM
8 January 3PM 8PM
9 January 2PM 7PM
10 January 2PM 7PM


Book your free tickets here.





Writer and Creator
Rachael Young
Sound and Composition
Alicia Jane Turner
Rosie Elnile
Season Butler
22 Jan - 12 Feb 2021

THIRST TRAP is a sound and instruction-led theatre experience, delivered to your home by bicycle, for you to experience in your own bath, in your own time.  

This is a new project commissioned by Fuel, with the support of Help Musicians, the Sura Medura Residency, and LIFT. A collaboration between Rachael Young, composer Alicia Jane Turner, dramaturg Season Butler, and a cohort of researchers and real people who are affected by climate change in 2020. 

Part-narrative and part-meditation, THIRST TRAP is a 30 min sound piece for audiences to listen to in the bath along with an experience pack of resources to change their physical environment, connecting closely with their personal environment and relationship with their bodies. 

THIRST TRAP delves into our fear surrounding the possible outcomes of rising temperatures and our feelings of powerlessness against a capitalist government that continually fail to act quickly enough on matters concerning the climate. Rachael is exploring our relationship to water, its peaceful and calming property, and its ability to destroy and wipe out and draw parallels with man’s ability to do the same. 



What You Need 

1x hour on your own time 

1x bathtub  

1x bath towel 

1x sound device (ideally this would be a phone, an iPad, or tablet) 

Wifi to connect to a digital audience file 

1x cup of water (optional depends on your thirst levels) 


How It Works 

You can experience the London premiere of THIRST TRAP by booking a delivery date that corresponds with your home address.  

On the day of the delivery, you will receive a small package from a cyclist as well as a link to a digital audio file. You will have 2 weeks to access the digital audio file – the rest is yours to keep.  

Book your home delivery slot for the performance pack.


Creative Team 

Writer and Creator: Rachael Young 

Sound Designer: Alicia Jane Turner 

Designer: Rosie Elnile 

Dramaturg: Season Butler 

Narrator: Doña Croll

Climate Justice Consultant: Suzanne Dhaliwal  

Access Assistant: Kaleya Baxe 

Animation and Artwork: Nick Cobby 



The Body Remembers

Creator/ Performer
Heather Agyepong
Co-Creator (dramaturgy)
Gail Babb
Co-Creator (movement)
Imogen Knight
15 Jan - 30 Jan 2021

Unfortunately, The Body Remembers has been postponed until further notice in compliance with government guidelines.

The Body Remembers is a solo performance that uses movement, projection, and a series of audio testimonies created and performed by Heather Agyepong, co-created by Imogen Knight (movement) and Gail Babb (dramaturgy).

The technique of Authentic Movement has allowed Heather to process what her body has been trying to communicate for years and most importantly brought gentle attention to the self. Authentic Movement consists of the mover and the witness. The mover without restriction, through impulse, reclaims space. The witness observes, reflects, and notes what is happening in their own bodies.

The Body Remembers creates a space for audience and artist to attend to themselves and each other through authentic movement, testimonies from 20 Black women living in the UK, soundscapes, and projections. The piece focuses on the six parts of her body that speak the loudest; head, throat, heart, stomach, womb, and hands.

Solo performance for a socially distanced audience in a theatre in Bristol / London.

The Body Remembers is produced by Fuel, with support from Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust, and the Jerwood New Work Fund.

Dates and tickets to be announced soon.

Image credit: Camila Greenwell

Signal Fires

Written by
Kiki Katese, Alice Oswald, Hema Palani, Will Power, Kim Scott, Sara Sharaawi
Rehearsal Director
Adura Onashile
28 Oct - 7 Nov 2020

Signal Fire (n): a fire or light set up in a prominent position as a warning, signal, or celebration.


In the week of the 26 October, fires lit up across the UK with storytellers and audiences sharing in one of the original forms of theatre. From spectacular bonfires to digital blazes; the nation’s leading touring theatre companies presented a series of theatrical events at locations across the UK in celebration of our fundamental need to tell stories.

Other companies involved in Signal Fires: 45North, Actors Touring Company, ALP Musical, balletLORENT, Beyond Face, Big Telly, Boundless, Diverse City and Extraordinary Bodies, Eastern Angles, English Touring Theatre, fEAST, Fio in association with Tara Arts, Fen in association with Out of Joint, Fuel, Graeae, Headlong, High Tide, Highly Suspect, Kestrel Theatre Company, Kneehigh, Luxi in association with Hannah Bruce & Co, and Northern Rail, Middle Child, National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, National Youth Theatre of Wales, New Perspectives, Pentabus, Pilot, Paines Plough, Potential Difference, Proteus, SBC Theatre, Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Slung Low, Spare Tyre, The Wardrobe Ensemble, This is My Theatre, Told by an Idiot, Wildcard and Yellow Earth Theatre.

The touring organisations listed above worked with hundreds of UK freelancers. Each fire spanned different disciplines which reflected the breadth and diversity of the touring circuit. All fires were presented outdoors in front of socially distanced live audiences, or digitally for those who were shielding or unable to travel.

Fuel’s Signal Fires

Co-Produced by Fuel and Coombe Farm Studios and Eden Court Highlands in collaboration with The Woodland Presents Signal Fires.

Fuel’s Signal Fires project reached audiences in South Devon and in the Highlands. From 28-30 October, audiences heard stories from around the world, around campfires in the beautiful woods at Dartington. Performed by actors around socially distanced fires, audiences were taken on a journey around the world from the safety and warmth of a blanket and a hot drink. From 2-7 November, audiences in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, where live outdoor performances were not permitted under Covid-19 guidelines, heard stories told to them over the phone, live and in person.

Fuel commissioned international and local writers, Devon’s own Alice Oswald alongside Kim Scott from Australia, Kiki Katese from Rwanda, and Will Power from the USA – to respond to the duality of fire, creating warmth and community as well as danger and destruction, as a symbol for this time.


Other Fuel locations

Eden Court, Highlands

Monday 2 November – by phone

Inverness, Scotland

Monday 2 November – Saturday 7 November – by phone

Dartington Hall Estate

The performance site was The Glade, The Woodland Presents, situated in North Woods, on the edge of the Dartington Hall Estate, South Devon. To be specific it is in Personage Copse, sandwiched between the back of Woodland Yard and the back of the Old Postern at Schumacher College. The car park is located down the lane in-between Schumacher College and Dartington Dairy. The closest village is Dartington, the closest town is Totnes.

See map here.


Age Appropriateness

Signal Fires did not contain overtly adult themes i.e. no direct themes of violence, sex or adult language, however, it was not a family-focused performance.

The Hartlepool Monkey: Homecoming

Lead Artist
Toby Olié
Engagement Lead & Associate Films Director
Ruth Mary Johnson
Print Designer
Michael Cranston
2 Oct - 29 Nov 2020

Ahoy there, land-lubbers and-legend lovers of Hartlepool!

In 2017, Gyre & Gimble and Fuel created a hit stage show based on The Hartlepool Monkey, a legend that has survived the test of time and captured imaginations for over 200 years.

In 2020, we collaborated with people across Hartlepool to explore the myth and mystery (or the facts and history!) of the monkey who came to town.

Curated by Gyre & Gimble and local theatre maker Ruth Mary Johnson, we delivered a programme of analogue and digital community activities exploring myth, identity, and what it means to live in Hartlepool town today.

Community stories, ideas, and imaginations were celebrated during BloomInArt’s Wintertide Festival with a digital parade and a series of original puppetry films created by students at the Northern School of Art.

You can still join in with some monkey mischief as we mark the legacy of The Hartlepool Monkey in today’s modern world, you can share your stories and ideas about the myth through our online survey. Or get creative by making your own monkey puppet by downloading the template with the instructions or watching the film of how to make it on Youtube.


Supported by Arts Council England, Great Place Tees Valley, Hartlepool Town Council, County Durham Community Fund, The Wellcome Trust, The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, and The Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation.

Great Place Tees Valley is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England and delivered via the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.

"Exquisite puppeteering"

The Stage

"An earnest and brilliant thing to watch"


"A tale bursting with vibrant comedy and tender tragedy suitable for all ages"

The Courier

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The Kids Are Alright

Co-created by Writer
Lee Mattinson
Co-created by Director & Choreographer
Jen Malarkey
Associate Director
Temitope Ajose-Cutting
Janet Etuk, Carl Harrison
27 Nov - 2 Dec 2020

Due to the new national Covid-19 restrictions the performances due to take place in Deptford, Camden, and Byker, were delivered via streams only.


One night.
One take.
Watch now.

The Kids Are Alright explored the extraordinary grief of losing a child.

When a day trip to the Natural History Museum turns to tragedy, Karen and Keith return home alone. Behind their four walls they attempt to make sense of the unimaginable in ways as unpredictable as the incident itself. But how do you rebuild a family when a whole life has been sucked out of it? Dismantle a dog? Cruise the Algarve? Or fight to the death yourselves?

This film was the third act of The Kids Are Alright under lockdown restrictions. From open performances across council estates in London and Newcastle to adapting the show for both live and digital audiences, The Kids Are Alright was streamed to all in full HD on YouTube.

On what would have been our opening night in Deptford – the last day before the second national lockdown – we ran the show on the Evelyn Estate and filmed in one take. The result intimately captured how, for a single hour, characters and residents co-existed as the performance became part of the place.

Co-created by director & choreographer Jen Malarkey and writer Lee Mattinson.

Co-commissioned by Fuel and The Place. In partnership with The Albany, Lewisham Homes, Camden People’s Theatre, Northern Stage, and Byker Community Trust. The project is funded by Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust, and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation.



The Kids Are Alright were streamed via YouTube on the following dates:

27th November 2020, 9pm – with The Albany and Lewisham Homes

28th November 2020, 9pm – with Camden People’s Theatre

29th November 2020, 3pm – hosted by Fuel

30th November 2020, 8pm – with Northern Stage and Byker Community Trust

1st December 2020, 5pm & 8pm – with Northern Stage and Byker Community Trust

2nd December 2020, 5pm & 8pm – with Northern Stage and Byker Community Trust

All performances were free and open to all.


"It’s ridiculous, absurd, infuriating and, at points, very, very sad. Which makes it an almost perfect portrayal of an attempt to navigate loss in the aftermath of an utterly unfathomable event. ★★★★ "

The Stage

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