Social Impact / Better Bristol

Bristol24/7 partner on project tackling homelessness through theatre

By hannah cornford, Thursday May 16, 2019

A project that gives people with lived experience of homelessness the opportunity to tell their stories, gain a qualification and create change has come to Bristol.

Cardboard Camps is being led by charity Cardboard Citizens in partnership with Bristol Old Vic and Bristol24/7. The project will run across three different areas in the South West over the next three years.

Bristol24/7 will be supporting this project as part of our Better Bristol initiative. Tackling homelessness is one of the key priorities our community has told us they want to focus on to create a better city.

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Cardboard Citizens are leading practitioners of forum theatre in the UK. Forum theatre performances give people with lived experience of an issue the opportunity to tell their stories on stage, and gets the audience involved in changing the story for the better.

Homelessness charities, theatres and theatre-makers, Bristol universities, filmmakers, and people with lived experience of homelessness all came together for the first Cardboard Camps meeting at Bristol Old Vic on Wednesday 15 May 2019 for Bristol Homeless Action Week.

Organiser Michael Chandler explained at the meeting: “Giving people with lived experience of homelessness the opportunity to tell their stories on stage is extremely powerful. Forum theatre helps to breakdown barriers and challenge the preconceptions people might have of who experiences homelessness and why. It also gives the audience the chance to learn what they can do to take action.”

Cardboard Camps will run throughout this year in Bristol, culminating in a performance at Bristol Old Vic in the autumn.

Photo credit: Cardboard Citizens performance of Cathy Come Home at the Barbican, by Pamela Raith / Matt Allen

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