sketch from ideas of Cardboard Citizens
  • saw this play by Cardboard Citizens based on Cathy Come Home by Ken Loach (50 years ago)
  • Updated version written by Ali Taylor and invited to Cornwall by St Petrocs – homeless charity based in Truro
  • Really inspiring and emotionally charged play exploring homelessness 50 years on original play
  • Forum Theatre format – so after play the audience are invited into discussion of themes surrounding play and opportunities to step in at any point of play to change and divert outcome – empowers the audience
  • Social housing costs, gentrification, forced relocation, shame, landlord rights, government policy, displacement
  • I felt that this fed into much of the themes around displacement and home, longing and belonging that feeds into my work
  • references to political and social situations in a very British based situation – thinking of the ‘depoliticised, complacent neoliberal subject’ we have become when this is still happening in our ‘civilised’ place we call home.
  • In her article in the Guardian Clare Allen reflects on Cathy Come Home and 50 years on – “Unscrupulous landlords, family breakdown, a negligent employer, and, above all, a dearth of affordable housing are the true cause of Cathy’s predicament and yet she is told again and again to “sort herself out”, as though all that is lacking is an adequate exertion of will. To hold somebody accountable for a situation they have no power to alter, to increase the pressure by means of threats and penalties if they fail to make changes they have no capacity to make, is a reliable means of breaking a person down.”
  • describing how the situation has actually worsened since the original film Allen explains how, “rent rises coupled with job insecurity, zero-hours contracts and benefit sanctions have led to a massive increase in homelessness and in the mental health problems this often leads to”