Homeless given voice in new play

Corby The Core, people taking part in the homelessness theatre project Cardboard Citizens: '16/01/12
Corby The Core, people taking part in the homelessness theatre project Cardboard Citizens: '16/01/12

People who have been through the misery of losing their home have joined professional actors to stage a new play.

Volunteers from Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough joined members of the Cardboard Citizens Theatre Company, based in the East End of London, to devise No Fixed Abode.

There will be two performances today at The Core theatre, Corby, for secondary school students, as well as a free show tonight at 7.30pm.

The project, a joint venture between the theatre company, The Core and Corby Council, aims to spark a debate on homelessness.

A group of nine volunteers have taken part in the project, offering their experiences to help shape the play. One of them, a 49-year-old single mother from Corby, who asked to be named as just Carol, said: “Just before Christmas, through a set of circumstances beyond my control, my family was faced with losing our home. On the day we expected to move into temporary accommodation we were found a place to live. I’ve been sharing my experiences and talking about the attitude of the authorities I had to deal with. It was a devastating time for me and my children.”

Director of No Fixed Abode Terry O’Leary and two young actors from Cardboard Citizens have been in Corby for more than a week working on the production.

She said: “We want to provoke debate on homelessness. In this area there may not be people sleeping on the streets but there are young people who spend their nights on friends’ sofas. We want to give them a voice.”

No Fixed Abode will be presented in forum style, allowing the audience to decide how the story ends. A film of the play is also being made to be used as a resource in local schools.

Corby poet Spike, a member of the cast, said: “Some of my poems on homelessness are included in the play and I’ve also written new material. Taking part has been a confidence-boosting experience.”