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Cardboard Citizens' Home Truths - full casting announced

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FULL casting has been announced for Cardboard Citizens’ Home Truths, an ambitious season of new work, which runs at The Bunker in London from April 17 to May 13, 2017.

The line up includes Richard Galloway, Jake Goode, David Hartley, Marian Haque, Caroline Loncq, Endy McKay, Andre Skeete, Mitesh Soni, Cathy Owen and Faye Wilson.

Previously Posted: The award-winning theatre company Cardboard Citizens has announced Home Truths, an ambitious season of new work at The Bunker in London this April.

Celebrating 25 years of making work with and for homeless people, the company will continue its exploration of the state of housing in nine new plays commissioned by Cardboard Citizens from some of the UK’s most exciting playwrights.

This timely and playful season, presented in an immersive format, will look back at the history of UK housing, from the Victorian housing crisis through Heathcote Williams’ true story of squatting in the 1970s to the ravages of Rachmanism in the 1950s and white flight in the 21st century.

The nine plays will be split into three Cycles, each Cycle can be seen as a stand-alone production, or alternatively audiences can book discounted multi-Cycle tickets or take part in a theatrical sit in and watch all nine plays in one go. The season runs from April 17 to May 13, 2017.

Playwrights who have written new work for the season include Sonali Bhattacharyya, Lin Coghlan, EV Crowe, Anders Lustgarten, Stef Smith, Nessah Muthy, Chris O’Connell, David Watson and Heathcote Williams with Sarah Woods. The productions will be individually directed by Cardboard Citizen’s Founder and Artistic Director Adrian Jackson and rising star Caitlin McLeod.

Adrian Jackson said: “My hope is that Home Truths will offer, through the kaleidoscope of history, a glimpse of what is happening now. This season of short plays will, by reference to notable historical events and periods, give our audience a fresh perspective on what is happening now, in the phenomenon commonly known as ‘the housing crisis’. And perhaps give us some glimpse of how we might find our way out of this mess.”

The announcement marks the continuation of an exciting period of time for the company, who staged a one-off enactment of Ken Loach’s Cathy Come Home at the Barbican last summer, supported by Loach himself. A brand new critically acclaimed Forum Theatre touring production Cathy, based around similar themes, followed which is currently touring to theatres, prisons, hostels and food banks across the UK and has been seen by more than 3,500 people.

On February 27, 2017, the company will take Cathy to the House of Lords as part of the Homes for Cathy event. Homes for Cathy comprises a number of housing associations who have come together to mark the 50th anniversary of Cathy Come Home and highlight the continuing needs of homeless people.

The special performance will be used to present Cardboard Citizens’ Cathy Laws – suggestions and recommendations for legislative changes to support homeless people that have been made at the end of every performance of Cathy by its audience members from across the tour demonstrating Cardboard Citizens’ commitment to using theatre for social change.

CYCLE ONE (Red) – selected dates from April 17 to May 10.

Slummers by Sonali Bhattacharyya.

1887. Polly, 16, clashes with her mother, Ada, against the backdrop of the Victorian housing crisis. Polly is desperate to escape the slums at any cost, but Ada believes the compromises they’d have to make are too high. A story about the ‘deserving poor’ and the obstacles they face, whatever choices they make.

The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency by Heathcote Williams with Sarah Woods.

Squat Now While Stocks Last. In the early 1970s, Heathcote Williams and friends set up an ‘estate agency’ to provide free accommodation for homeless people:

Back2back2back by Stef Smith.

Nine months. Two couples. One building. Four people are trying to figure out their futures but with their backs against the breadline everyone is struggling to stay afloat. White flight, fertility and inhospitality are explored in this poetic domestic drama that examines the difference between a house and a home.

CYCLE TWO (Blue) – selected dates from April 18 to May 11.

The Table by Lin Coghlan.

In the backroom of a house in South London, residents from 2017 and 1919 find themselves struggling with similar challenges – what is home and in order to find one what might one be prepared to sacrifice? Wine is consumed, secrets confronted and the longing for a place to call one’s own unites the people who shared this space a hundred years apart.

Put In The Schwarzes And De-Stat It by Nessah Muthy.

London. 1958. Two women, one black, one white, battle against the ravages of Rachmanism and the ‘other’. Amidst fear, hate, violence and racism war is unleashed on streets of Notting Hill. Will either woman make it home?

Yellow Front Door by Anders Lustgarten.

Michael is one of the lucky ones. He’s got the Right to Buy. The right to choose the colour of his own front door. The right to leave this dreary, dull little life behind and seek adventure. To spread his wings and become the man he always knew he could be. And he can’t wait…

CYCLE THREE (Yellow) – selected dates from March 19 to May 12.

Henrietta by David Watson.

June 1936. In a purgatorial reunion with her late husband Samuel, the philanthropist and social reformer Henrietta Barnett is asked what she would consider her greatest achievement. Her answer lies in NW11 between Golders Green and Finchley. But a trip to the 21st century might just trigger a rude awakening…

Nostalgia by EV Crowe.

Anna’s sick and she knows what she’s got. She tries to tell her husband Martin, who is back from the war, and their friend Abel and then the doctor. She had it before the little place, it got a bit better in the communist squat, then worse again in the pigsty. But no one believes her illness is real, or what it means or that you can die from it.

GRIP by Chris O’Connell.

A series of unforeseen events change 51 year old Lorna’s life irrevocably. When she is diagnosed with terminal cancer, only days afterwards, in a freak timing of events, her landlord announces that he is evicting her and she is plunged into a world she knows nothing of. Benefits, homelessness testing, bidding for social housing.

TRIPLE BILL DAYS (Green) – on Saturday, April 29 at 12pm and Saturday, May 13 at 12pm.

NB: As with all Cardboard Citizens productions, a proportion of tickets for Home Truths will be made available to homeless audiences at £1.50.

Image: Hayley Wareham and Cathy Owen in Cathy. Pamela Raith Photography.