Homeless to get £1 tickets for Edinburgh Fringe show

Cardboard Citizens production of homeless stage show "Cathy" at Edinburgh Fringe.
Cardboard Citizens production of homeless stage show "Cathy" at Edinburgh Fringe.
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A theatre company has teamed up with a homeless charity to offer cut price tickets to a stage production of Ken Loach’s ground breaking movie Cathy Come Home.

The film, which first screened in 1966, caused national public outrage and inspired the Housing Act and the creation of charity Shelter later that year.

Now Cardboard Citizens and Shelter Scotland have reimagined the movie for the stage and “Cathy” will make its Edinburgh Fringe debut next month following a sell-out UK tour.

During last year’s tour more than 20 percent of tickets from an audience of more than 5,500 people were sold at £1.

These tickets primarily are booked by organisations, hostels or charities working with vulnerable people and they then distribute them to their service users to attend the show.

A Cardboard Citizen’s spokeswoman said: “This will be how the system is run in Edinburgh too.

“We are reaching out to local homeless organisations and charities in Edinburgh and areas close by to promote the £1 ticket offer, which is available for a number of performances across the run.

“Shelter Scotland are very kindly spreading the word with their many existing networks to help reach as wide an audience as possible.

“In addition we are always keen to hear from homeless or ex-homeless individuals who are keen to see the show. They can call us directly on 020 7377 8948 or mail@cardboardcitizens.org.uk to enquire about the scheme.”

Shelter Scotland will help raise awareness of Cathy and encourage and support as many people as possible to see the show, have their say and take action.

Directed by Adrian Jackson, the new play explores the state of housing and homelessness and looks at how life might be for a Cathy today.

The show was researched in partnership with Shelter and is based on true stories, providing a reflection of the social and personal impact of spiralling housing costs, gentrification and the challenges of a lack of truly affordable housing.

In Scotland, there are currently, over 10,500 homeless households in temporary accommodation, 142,500 on council waiting lists for a home and a homelessness application was made every 19 minutes in Scotland last year.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “For Shelter Scotland the original Cathy Come Home depicts all too clearly the human tragedy and suffering caused by bad housing and homelessness that was – and still is – being faced by thousands of people in Scotland.”

“Great progress has been made in terms of legislation, support services and the quality of housing since it was first screened, but the stark reality is that we still have a long way to go.

“This is a stark reminder of the tragedy of homelessness and that, as the impact of low wages, the high cost of housing and harsh welfare reforms hit the poorest and most vulnerable in our society today, we should not be complacent about what still needs to be done.”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk