Fio in Latin means
to Belong, to Create, to Grow.
We are a theatre company working across the UK and internationally to make interesting, political and provocative work that brings about social change.
Our vision is a world where everyone has a voice to tell their story. We focus on those who are currently under-represented or misrepresented in society. Our medium is theatre because we believe that it is one of the most enduringly powerful ways to tell stories.
We see a time when everyone can access theatre, and a world where diversity is the norm, where discrimination is non-existent and where all voices can be heard. As such, we are part of a larger humanitarian cause fighting for the rights and civil liberties of all people regardless of background, characteristics or personal circumstance.
Our mission is to tell stories that are or would otherwise go untold or unheard. We do this through theatre. We challenge the arts sector in Wales and beyond to embrace diversity and we export our ideas and work across the UK and the rest of the world. We aim to lead the way in presenting theatre that brings about positive change at a local, national and international level.
Fio works within three stands People, Projects and Productions. Through these three strands and the following values enables the organisation to achieve its charitable objects.
WE ARE FEARLESS:
We create bold politically charged theatre that provokes conversations within our communities. Tearing down stereotypes, challenging injustice and amplifying unheard voices. Our productions challenge the dominant narratives in our society.
WE ARE CHANGE:
We empower individuals with training and development opportunities, responding to the needs of those facing barriers. Training, developing and diversifying the workforce of Wales and beyond. Giving people the tools and the platform to speak out and tell their own stories.
WE ARE FUTURE:
We are identifying and developing a new generation of politically charged creatives. Arming them with the tools to change institutions and ideologies. Fio is about developing a more diverse cultural landscape, proving that theatre and the arts is for everyone.
WE ARE FIO
Our Artistic Director, Abdul Shayek shares his story
We created Fio to help people tell their stories.
Being from a Bangladeshi British Muslim background, theatre changed my life when I was a teenager growing up on benefits in East London. It led me on an amazing journey which saw me acting, directing my own plays and setting up my own social enterprise to get more young people off the streets and onto the stage. Politicising them in order to shape and respond to the world as they see it.
In 2011, I moved to Cardiff to take a new job at the National Theatre of Wales. When I arrived here from the melting pot of Newham. I was shocked by the lack of diverse voices and repertoire in theatre. I knew something had to change. I started to meet and collaborate with like-minded people across Cardiff and, in 2016, Fio was born. It is now a registered charity, which has a board of 8 trustees. It is an exciting brand which is developing projects across the UK and within the International sphere.
We exist to tear down stereotypes and get diverse talent on stage. We've produced plays like The Mountaintop (which explores the Civil Rights movement) and Death & The Maiden (about the Pinochet regime in Chile) and The Island (about Apartheid) to Wales for the first time, employing and developing a diverse team of talented new actors, producers and other creatives in the process.
We've devised and produced our own debut original work, Swarm which tackles the 2015 migrant crisis, and we're currently adapting Orchard of Lost Souls, a provocative story of survival in the Somali civil war. We've toured the Welsh Valleys and held residencies with The Yard in London and with The Royal Exchange. We have worked in local schools, communities and won awards for our work in the criminal justice system. In 2017, we went to India for our first ever international collaboration, working with talented emerging theatre practitioners in Mumbai and bringing them here to perform at the Greenman Festival. We are going from being a locally focused company to one which is working across Wales, the UK and further afield, fulfilling ambitions I have always harboured.
With the world facing new challenges and turbulence every day, I know that Fio is needed now more than ever. Together, we're helping to tell the unheard stories of everyday people and producing amazing theatre that is turning heads and asking the big questions.
Please feel free to get in touch with us with any feedback about our productions and projects, or to see how you can get involved with the ongoing work at Fio: