A site specific piece, originally titled “The Welcoming Party”, created by Theatre-Rites and co-produced with Manchester International Festival and Z-arts, it  in July 2017 at Manchester International Festival, it was re imagined for Ruhrtriennale in Germany some years later, and finally a scaled down version “Journey of a Refugee” was adapted for Stanley Arts in Croydon in 2024.

A beautiful blend of installation, live music, puppetry and dance, The Welcoming Party is a site specific show for children aged 8 plus and adults, featuring true stories of refugee journeys to the UK, performed by a cast including those who made the journeys.

The original version featured seven rooms each with a dedicated soundsystem in sync throughout a historic warehouse. Journey of a Refugee was adapted to make use of an entire theatre building - with scenes in dressing rooms, docks and foyers, as well as the stage and auditorium. 

Director: Sue Buckmaster 
Designs: Simon Daw 
Choreography: Jamaal Burkmar* / Jose Agudo**
Music and sound design: Frank Moon 
Lighting design: Mark Doubleday 

*2017  **2024

"This is, no two ways about it, an astonishing piece of theatre: a kids' show that handles immigration, both as lived experience and as bureaucratic system, with such nuance and sophistication that it teaches adults a thing or two as well." - What'sOnStage 

"Frank Moon’s sound composition creates an unsettling atmosphere and Jamaal Burkmar’s choreography expresses the agony of uncertainty and waiting. Simon Daw’s design, with its constant images of dehumanising cages, makes the most of the venue, which was once the world’s first railway warehouse...  This is all pretty grown-up stuff, and is done with the rackety swagger and invention that we’ve come to expect from Theatre-Rites, a company making shows for children that is right at the forefront of contemporary British theatre practice." ★★★★ - The Guardian 

"Why can’t all interactive, site-specific theatre be like The Welcoming Party? Theatre-Rites’ first show for Manchester International Festival is beautiful, clever, creative, chilling and thought-provoking theatre. Aimed at family audiences but with absolutely no sugar coating of the subject matter: what it means to be a refugee." ★★★★★ - British Theatre Guide

“Through Frank Moon’s wonderful compositions, the bewitching cultures of the Middle East are diffused throughout this innocuous arts centre in Croydon, inextricably blending the worlds." ★★★★★ Everything Theatre