Following their one-off theatrical re-staging of Ken Loach’s seminal work Cathy Come Home at the Barbican in July of this year, the award-winning theatre company Cardboard Citizens has announced a brand new touring production for October, Cathy, based around similar themes. This year marks the marks the both 50th anniversary of Loach’s film and the 25th anniversary of the theatre company who work making theatre with and for homeless people.
First broadcast in 1966 on the BBC, Cathy Come Home depicts a young family’s slide into homelessness. The first screening of the film led to public outrage at the state of housing in Britain and became a defining cultural landmark, demonstrating the power of art to effect social and political change. Of the staging earlier this year Ken Loach said: “There are more people made desperate by having no home now than when Cathy Come Home was first made. Then, we still had council housing…Now, we only have the market. And the market has failed. It gives us luxury apartments in tower blocks for investors while families live in over-crowded single rooms. The lesson from Cathy is that we need to plan – for council housing, for secure jobs alongside the houses and for a proper infrastructure for schools and healthcare. All the rest is propaganda.”
Cardboard Citizens continue their exploration of the state of housing and homelessness with Cathy, a powerful and emotive new Forum Theatre show by award-winning playwright Ali Taylor (Cotton Wool, OVERSPILL), and directed by Cardboard Citizens Artistic Director Adrian Jackson, exploring how life might be for a Cathy today. Based like the film on true stories, this timely reflection will look at the social and personal impact of spiralling housing costs and the challenges of the forced relocation out of London experienced by many people on council waiting lists.
The cast for the production includes: Amy Loughton, Cathy Owen and Hayley Wareham, with one cast member still to be announced.
The production has been researched with the support of housing and homelessness charity Shelter and each performance will end with an interactive debate in classic Forum Theatre style. Forum Theatre is an interactive style of theatre that empowers the audience to change the outcome and have their say on one of society’s most topical subjects today – every show is a unique experience. The audience will be encouraged to suggest different actions and outcomes for the narrative, helping to actively engage with the issues that the play presents and change the course of the characters’ lives. Audience members can be as involved as they decide – whether choose to get up on stage and act themselves or just sit back and watch as the story is rewritten live in front of their eyes.
The production will begin at the Pleasance Theatre in London on 11th October and will tour the UK with confirmed performances taking place in: Nottingham, Oxford, Bristol, Southend, Luton, Peterborough, St Albans, Colchester, Kent, Exeter, Cumbria, Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, Doncaster, Birmingham, Bridport, Warwick, Wakefield and Barnsley. Full listings can be found here.
Adrian Jackson (director) is the Founder, Director and Chief Executive of Cardboard Citizens. Adrian founded Cardboard Citizens in 1991 and since then he has directed over 30 productions for the company, devising and writing many of them including Pericles and Timon (with RSC) The Beggar’s Opera (with ENO),The Lower Depths (with London Bubble), Mincemeat (winner of Evening Standard award). He directed his own play, A Few Man Fridays at Riverside Studios in 2012, and Kate Tempest’s Glasshouse in 2013. In 2013 he wrote and directed an intervention in Elmgreen/Dragset’s installation Tomorrow at the V & A. Adrian also teaches the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology all over the world.
Ali Taylor (playwright) trained at the Royal Court Young Writers’ Programme. His first play Cotton Wool at Theatre503 won the 18th Meyer Whitworth Award. Ali went on to be one of the winners of ‘Metamorphosis08’, a new play competition run by the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, for his play Overspill. It was performed at the theatre before transferring to Soho Theatre. His writing for young people includes two plays for Polka Theatre: Sticks and Stones and an adaptation of The Machine Gunners (shortlisted for the Brian Way Award). His work also includes Conspiracy (RWCMD/Gate Theatre), Under My Skin (Pegasus Theatre), Fault Lines (Hampstead Theatre) and his radio plays for BBC Radio 4 including Eight Feet High And Rising and Cinders.
Alex Jones (multi-role male) is best known for his role as Clive Horrobin in the long running BBC Radio 4 Contemporary drama The Archers and subsequently Archers & Ambridge Extra, as well as over 100 other radio plays including Heartlands with BBC Radio 4 producer Jane Marshall, The Old Curiosity Shop and Albion Tower (winner of the Gold Sony Award). Recently he played Keith Loader in BBC’s Doctors, other television and film includes Jane Eyre, Fourth Arm, The Specials, Birds Of A Feather, Back Up, Boon & Hardcases, Faster, Harder, Longer and the BAFTA nominated film Rhubarb And Roses. His theatre credits include Shakespeare And Various Irish Extracts for the University of Birmingham (dir. Gwenda Hughes), The Mysteries at Coventry Cathedral for Belgrade Theatre (dir. Barry Kyle), Gilgamesh (dir. Claudette Bryanston), I’m A Minger (dir. Amy Bonsall) and productions at Birmingham Repertory Theatre including Of Mice And Men, Swamp City, Ash Girl and The Tempest.
Amy Loughton’s (multi-role female) theatre credits include: Dear Uncle, Neighbourhood Watch (both Stephen Joseph Theatre/No 1 Tour/59E59 New York), A View From The Bridge (Theatre by the Lake, Keswick), Peter Pan (New Vic, Stoke-on-Trent), Women, Power and Politics (Tricycle Theatre), Nation (National Theatre), Apart from George (Finborough Theatre), Blueprint for Write by Numbers (Bike Shed Theatre), Sergeant Jackson in Almost Near (Finborough Theatre), Theatre Cafe Festival (Company of Angels) and The Killing of Sister George (Dramatic Productions). Her film credits include British features Crowhurst (Great Point Media) and Aux (Evolutionary Films). TV credits include Talking to the Dead (Sky/Warp Films), EastEnders, Holby City and Emma (all BBC).
Cathy Owen’s (Cathy) theatre credits include: This Wide Night (Clean Break, Soho Theatre UK Tour), The Last Valentine (Almeida), Silent Engine (Pentabus, Fringe First Winner), Kolbe’s Gift (Leicester Square Theatre), Edwina: A Cautionary Tale for Grown Ups (The Stadsteatern, Stockholm, BAC), Mother Courage and her Children (National Theatre of Wales), A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (Almeida UK Tour), Macbeth (Ludlow Festival), Shrew’d: Taming of the Shrew and The Tamer Tamed (Arcola), Marisol (Southwark Playhouse). Her Television credits include The Bill (TalkBack Thames); Casualty; Crown Prosecutor (BBC) and The Life and Death of Philip Night (YTV/Waller Films).
Hayley Wareham (Danielle) trained at the Oxford School of Drama. Work since graduating includes: This Secret Life (Tour) Strawberry Starburst (Brockley Jack Theatre) and Is This Rape: Sex on Trial (BBC3). Hayley has just completed the Soho Theatre Writers’ Lab.
Cardboard Citizens present
PRESS NIGHT: 13th OCTOBER 2016, PLEASANCE
Director: Adrian Jackson
Writer: Ali Taylor
Dramaturg: Sarah Woods
Researcher: Alison Cain
Assistant Director: Emilia Teglia
Designer: Lucy Sierra
Lighting Designer: Mark Dymock
Sound Designer: Matt Lewis