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Cardboard Citizens Debuts At The Pleasance On The Edinburgh Festival Fringe With Its Hit Production ‘Cathy’

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Following its hugely successful UK tour, acclaimed theatre company Cardboard Citizens comes to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time with its critically acclaimed production Cathy, featuring the original cast.

Cathy premiered last autumn following Cardboard Citizens one-off theatrical re-staging of Ken Loach’s seminal work Cathy Come Home at the Barbican. Inspired by the iconic film, award-winning playwright Ali Taylor’s (Cotton Wool, OVERSPILL) new play continued Cardboard Citizens exploration of the state of housing and homelessness. The powerful and emotive show, which transfers to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Cardboard Citizens’ 25th anniversary year, is directed by Cardboard Citizens Artistic Director Adrian Jackson and explores how life might be for a Cathy today.

Based on true stories, this timely reflection looks at the social and personal impact of spiralling housing costs and the challenges of forced relocation out of city centres experienced by many people on council waiting lists.
While the UK tour featured a Forum Theatre section, following the performance of the play, Edinburgh audiences will experience a similar style of interactive theatre called Legislative Theatre. This will offer audiences a chance to voice their opinion at every performance, take action, express their views and contribute to the proposal of new housing laws. The new format follows the high-profile performance of Cathy at the House of Lords earlier this year when the company presented to MPs the top five housing laws suggested by audiences on the UK tour.

Reprising their roles in the show are: Alex Jones, Amy Loughton, Cathy Owen and Hayley Wareham.

First broadcast in 1966 on the BBC, Cathy Come Home, the inspiration for Cathy, 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 Cardboard Citizens staging last year, Ken Loach said:

Ken Loach:

“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.”

As with all Cardboard Citizens productions, a proportion of tickets for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe run will be made available to people with experience of homelessness at £1.

Cathy follows Cardboard Citizens’ Home Truths, which features the world premieres of nine new plays exploring the history of housing. The season ran at The Bunker in London until 13 May.

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