the first part of our protest-theatre play cycle denouncing Britain’s dehumanising of people for power and profit



Camden People’s Theatre, London, Tuesday 30 April - Thursday 2 May

Slung Low, Leeds, Sunday 5 May (pay what you can on the door) 

Royal Exchange, Manchester, Thursday 9 - Saturday 11 May

Applecart Arts, London, Thursday 16 - Saturday 18 May

The Place, Bedford, Monday 20th May

Northern Stage, Newcastle, Thursday 23 & Friday 24 May

Illegalised will disturb you deeply, and that is a good thing.
— Jacek Szymanski, The Socialist Worker
ILLEGALISED is a voice of realism that is needed right now in theatre.
— Jessica Battison, North West End
It is a very long time since I last saw a play as angrily political as Illegalised.
— Peter Lathan, British Theatre Guide
Illegalised packed all its issues into an engaging ninety minutes, fuelled by humanitarian rage and despair.
— Nicola Owen, NARC

ILLEGALISED is an international, multi-lingual production and world premiere of a new political text exposing the dehumanising effects of the British State’s anti-immigration policies on migrants and those seeking asylum in the UK. ILLEGALISED ruthlessly investigates the Immigration Industrial Complex and the vast profit made by the Home Office and its corporate partners from the illegalisation of human beings.

ILLEGALISED is a direct response to MY NAME IS OTHER, a fully-funded research and development period in London, Bedford, Daventry and Sheffield investigating othering, structural racism in the UK and Britain’s violent colonial past. The text for ILLEGALISED is a response to the material gathered while interviewing  34 migrants, refugees and those seeking asylum as well as activists and academics in the field of racism, state violence and colonialism. The participants we spoke to came from 4 continents, 29 countries and all economic backgrounds, most having fled poverty or political unrest provoked by British and European colonial rule or armed by British security firms.

ILLEGALISED is the first in BÉZNĂ Theatre’s cycle of multi-lingual plays denouncing Britain’s dehumanising of people for power and profit from colonial times to today.


Creative Team:

Director-writers Sînziana Koenig & Nico Vaccari

Actors: Lizzie Clarke, Theo Green, Ahmad Sakhi, Oana Pușcatu 

Produced by Claire Gilbert

Creative Associates: Aabdeen Arbab and Drucilla Namirembe

Sound Design: Dan Balfour

Lighting design: Stacey Sandford

Movement director: Mathew Wernham

Fight direction: Haruka Kuroda

Songs composed by the company

Singing coach: Oana Pușcatu

Poster: Tudor Sabina

Production photographs: Will Alder and Sînziana Koenig

Consultants: Malia Bouattia, journalist and activist, previous president of National Union of Students and Dr. Monish Bhatia, activist and lecturer in criminology at Birkbeck University

Also consulted: Dr. Umut Erel, Dr. Freddie Laker, Alexandra Bulat, Dr. Olivia Vicol, Jenny Barrett and Participant H.

we can’t ask for our ancestors’ freedom back
we can’t ask for the borders you drew to be erased
we can’t ask for our languages back
we just ask you to stop making money from our deaths
the journey took a tenth of my life
but I made it
it took a tenth of my life
but I made it
it took my life
but I made it


Northern Stage, champions ambitious and adventurous creativity in Newcastle

Theatre Deli, arts charity changing people’s views about their creative potential

Camden People’s Theatre, London venue committed to unconventional theatre

Bookmarks, largest socialist bookshop in the UK

LMRN, Lewisham Migrant and Refugee Network

AFRIL, Action for Refugees in Lewisham

Romanian Cultural Institute

Applecart Arts Theatre, community based theatre in Plaistow, London

Work Rights Centre, charity helping migrants exit precarious work



We performed a scene from ILLEGALISED at the People’s Trial of the Home Office and the Hostile Environment Monday the 11th of February in front of the Home Office headquarters at 2 Marsham St in solidarity with the victims of the Home Office and the Stansted15 activists.

Protest cast: Lizzie Clarke, Theo Green

Director-writers: Sînziana Koenig & Nico Vaccari

Producer: Claire Gilbert



We performed the songs from ILLEGALISED at the Youth Strike for the Climate protest Friday the 24th of May in Newcastle’s civic centre in solidarity with the young people of today, with the victims of climate catastrophe and the climate refugees.

Protest cast: Lizzie Clarke, Theo Green, Oana Pușcatu, Ahmad Sakhi.

Director-writers: Sînziana Koenig & Nico Vaccari

Producer: Claire Gilbert



An early version of the text of ILLEGALISED, informed by the research and field work conducted as part of MY NAME IS OTHER, was presented to three different audiences and venues. The feedback collected was implemented into the performance text.

The Place Theatre, Bedford, Sunday 27th January 2019 - Private and free reading for the participants whose testimony informed the text.

Camden People’s Theatre, London, Monday 28th January 2019 - Public reading followed by a panel discussion with Malia Bouattia and Alessandra Sciarra (LMRN).

Bookmarks Bookshop, London, Tuesday 29th January 2019 - Public reading followed by a Q&A with the team and Dr. Monish Bhatia

Readings cast: Lizzie Clarke, Theo Green, Andreea Pădurare, Kamran Vahabi.

Director-writers: Sînziana Koenig & Nico Vaccari

Producer: Claire Gilbert