a new Musical written by Andy Gardiner with music by Ben Barker and Andy Gardiner
From detention centre to centre stage. Victor’s story is at the heart of this new Sheffield musical.
“Sanctuary” spotlights the experiences of two asylum seekers, Zimbabwean Victor Mujakachi and Ethiopian Endalk Sisay, both of whom are onstage as their stories are told through a lively script and eight original songs.
Victor had been in the UK since 2003 when, in February 2019, he was detained by the Home Office, taken to a detention centre, and told he was to be deported to Harare within three days! Support groups, politicians and campaigners in Sheffield reacted immediately, thrusting Victor’s plight into the public eye.
The events of these days, its impact on those involved, alongside the story of Endalk, a young man from Ethiopia, are at the heart of “Sanctuary”, presented by Spectrum Theatre, Sheffield.
The show’s writer, Andy Gardiner said the individual stories were key. "So often, issues around migration are discussed in terms of numbers,” he said. “But obviously, every number is a person and every person has a story.”
It’s appropriate that the show is set in Sheffield, which in 2005 became the UK’s first City of Sanctuary.
As for Victor, he’s glad to have the chance to tell his story. “If my voice can speak for others, if my story can highlight theirs, then it’s worth the line-learning, the hours of rehearsal, the nerves I’m going to be feeling on the first night,” he said.
"Sanctuary" was performed at the Library Theatre Sheffield in December 2022