Homelessness and Theatre

A one-day event looking at homelessness and theatre
Friday 11 April 2014, 10am – 5pm
Guest speakers Tony Lloyd (Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester) and Alan Lyddiard (The Performance Ensemble)  
This one-day event will explore the rich variety of conversations, progressions and reflections taking place with people living in poverty. Led by homeless participants – and the practitioners and organisations that work with them – the day will be made up of a mixture of practical workshops, group discussions, performances and short presentations. It will be a chance to listen, watch, debate and take part – a behind the scenes look at this area of arts practice. The outcomes of the event will form the basis of a Good Practice Guide for organisations available later in the year.
The event will look at:
  • How organisations can creatively support homeless people to rebuild their lives with a range of activity-based approaches
  • The value of a partnership approach built on arts-based practice, as well as the challenges
  • The benefits of offering progression opportunities, cultural attendance and participant led reflection as part of a partnership
  • Providing a platform for participants and service users to have their say about theatre and the arts through theatre and the arts
The event is aimed at:
  • Anyone working with adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, particularly organisations that are using or developing an activity-based approach to engagement
  • Cultural organizations interested in working with excluded groups
  • Local Authorities and Housing Associations who are looking for ways to engage with adults who have multiple and complex needs
  • Individuals who are interested in theatre practice and professional development opportunities in this area
  • Those currently working in the field of homelessness and theatre who feel they have something to offer to a discussion and debate
  • People who are homeless, or at risk of / have experienced homelessness
User involvement will be present in all aspects of the day. The morning is being designed primarily with staff and workers in mind, and the afternoon with staff, workers, participants, clients and service users in mind.
Further details and booking information available at royalexchange.co.uk/backstageme.
The Booth Centre / Royal Exchange Theatre partnership is supported by The Rayne Foundation and the J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust.
The Booth Centre and the Royal Exchange Theatre have been working in partnership for just over 5 years, and are currently at the beginning of the third and final year of the Theatre’s Community Leader programme. Since the programme started in 2011, a total of 157 participants from the Booth Centre have been involved in creative activities with the Royal Exchange. They have performed in 7 performances in The Studio and the Theatre (and once at the Royal Opera House in London), taken part in 151 workshops and been to see 19 plays. 64% of participants have substance misuse issues and 94% have mental health issues, with many experiencing complex multiple problems. However as a result of the partnership and the work of the Booth Centre, 80 have now moved to more stable accommodation, 20 who were at risk of losing their homes have been helped to maintain their accommodation, 6 have moved into paid employment and 46 have gained a Introduction to Performing Arts level 1 qualification.
The Progression Group from the Royal Exchange and Booth Centre Partnership was a Creativity in the Community Finalist in Manchester City Council’s Be Proud Awards 2013.
Royal Exchange Theatre
St Ann’s Square
M2 7DH
0161 615 6792
Booth Centre
Manchester Cathedral
Victoria Street
M3 1SX
0161 835 2499

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