As part of the launch of the Mayor of London’s Winter Homelessness Fundraising Campaign, award-winning theatre company Cardboard Citizens will perform Rising by Femi Keeling in the Council Chamber of London’s City Hall on Tuesday 27 November at 7.00pm. It will be livestreamed to the public for free, from www.cardboardcitizens.org.uk/RisingLive and from the City of London website www.london.gov.uk. Viewers can comment and contribute to the debate from the Cardboard Citizens website, and by tweeting using the hashtag #CitzRising
Rising is a Forum Theatre piece, so the play will be followed by an interactive session where audience members at City Hall – and online commenters – will be able to make suggestions and change the outcome of the story.
The production of Rising is primarily touring hostels, prisons, and day centres across London throughout November, as well as being presented at the Royal Exchange as part of the With One Voice summit. Throughout the tour, the play’s audiences (around 1000 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness) will have suggested new laws and policies that would improve the lives of people leaving prison, those who have to navigate the benefits system and those who become homeless. The most common laws will be proposed to a panel of policymakers and lobbying organisations at the City Hall event.
The topical storyline of Rising explores many of the challenges facing people released from prison, including applying for Universal Credit, the difficult choices they may have to think about making as a result, and the shocking ease with which someone may face homelessness. The play’s lead character Terrence has just been released after a short prison sentence and wants to change his life. With support, Terrence has the opportunity to take control and turn things around, but battles against the system, demons from his past, and a string of poor decisions instead push Terrence to the edge.
The cast, which includes Cardboard Citizens’ Member actors with experience of homelessness, is comprised of Shona Babayemi, Carrie Rock, Greg Shewring and Andre Skeete. The production is directed by Stuart Mullins, Associate Director of Cardboard Citizens.
Founded by Artistic Director and CEO Adrian Jackson MBE, Cardboard Citizens is an award-winning theatre company and one of the world’s leading practitioners of Forum Theatre. They have toured across hostels, day centres and prisons for more than 26 years, bringing theatre to the most marginalised in society. Through bold and immersive theatre, Cardboard Citizens break down conventional divisions between audiences and performers. Visit: www.cardboardcitizens.org.uk