I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given To Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda
by Sonja Linden
I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document… was inspired by the real life experiences of Rwandan refugees in the UK. The play tells the story of two people from entirely different worlds who meet at a Refugee Centre in London: Juliette is a young Rwandan asylum seeker, determined to write a book on the genocide that killed her family; Simon is a middle-aged failing novelist, whose job is to help people write. The play follows their funny and touching relationship and tackles issues that face many refugees who live in the UK today.
I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document… was a Time Out Critics’ Choice and was broadcast by BBC World Service as well as touring nationally and internationally. Following a London run and National UK tour, the play received its American premiere at Kansas City Rep in March 2005 and has subsequently gone on to receive more than 30 productions across the US.
“Outstanding…a powerful and beautiful piece of theatre.” The Stage
“Sonja Linden’s…play is a remarkable achievement.” Time Out
“Buy, beg or steal a ticket…” The Times
About the author
Sonja Linden is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced in the UK, USA and Australia. London productions include Call Me Judas, The Jewish Daughter and The Strange Passenger. In 1997, Sonja set up a new project for Freedom from Torture. ‘Write to Life’ was a therapeutic and creative venture for clients, allowing them to record their stories not simply as victims but as artists in their own right. It was hearing one particular story that motivated Sonja to write her play I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda in 2003. Sonja joined with Sara Masters to produce the play, and ice&fire theatre was founded. Young Lady from Rwanda was a sell-out in London and went on to have a national tour and more than 30 productions world-wide, as well as a BBC radio recording. Sonja continued at the helm for five years before stepping down to focus on her writing, handing over the artistic direction of the company to her long-standing colleagues Christine Bacon and Sara Masters (who left in 2010). Christine had joined ice&fire in 2005 and founded the Actors for Human Rights project, converting grassroots activism on human rights themes into an artistic movement. Inspired by and mentored by ice&fire, a similar German network Bühne für Menschenrechte, was founded by Michael Ruf in 2009. ice&fire has produced more than twelve verbatim scripts, six full-scale theatre productions and five participatory projects working with people who have experienced human rights abuses.