This evening, at the Barbican in London, the award-winning theatre company Cardboard Citizens will perform their one-off theatrical re-staging of Ken Loach’s seminal work Cathy Come Home. The production marks the 50th anniversary of the film and the beginning of the 25th anniversary of the theatre company who work making theatre with and for homeless people. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion, ‘Homelessness 50 years on – what’s changed?’ Both the production and the subsequent panel will be live streamed by the Guardian Stage here, on the Cardboard Citizens website, by Shelter and a number of hostels, and by various housing associations to ensure maximum accessibility. Alongside Cathy Come Home, the company have today announced a brand new touring production for October, Cathy, based around similar themes.
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. The panel discussion that follows this evening will ask what has changed in the fifty years since the film was made and will be held with leading figures from politics and the charity and arts sectors, including BBC journalist Samira Ahmed, the Chief Executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb, Artistic Director and CEO of Cardboard Citizens, Adrian Jackson, Deputy Mayor for Housing, James Murray and singer-songwriter Eska. The public are encouraged to have their say in the conversation using #CathyComeHome on Twitter. The performance and panel forms part of the Institute of Fundraising’s annual Fundraising Convention from 4 - 6 July, which brings together 2,500 fundraising professionals to discuss issues facing the charity sector.
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