Rough Sleeper returns to St Albans for performances at the Inn on the Park
- Credit: Supplied by Jo Emery
A play about the homelessness crisis that premiered in St Albans earlier this year returns to the city next week for two shows.
Rough Sleeper is returning for a couple of socially distanced outdoor performances at the Inn on the Park.
You can see Jo Emery’s acclaimed play in Verulamium Park on Thursday, September 3 and Friday, September 4, following its successful world premiere at the Maltings Theatre in January.
Author Jo Emery, who also directs and acts in the play, said: “I was inspired to write this play about the people who are currently having to live homeless in our country, to highlight this deeply saddening and only too pressing issue.
“The play is the story of a fictitious person who finds himself rough sleeping.
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“It contains some strong language and has moments that are harrowing and hard hitting, but it also contains dark humour and pathos.”
Playwright Jo spent weeks researching the subject in 2019 to understand more fully the reasons for people becoming homeless, in order to write with more focus and accuracy about the issue.
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“As I learnt more about the crisis and the background of many homeless people, I realised that anyone can become homeless at any time of their life,” said Jo.
“So many stories emerged of a combination of possible mental health issues, bad luck, a divorce, a bereavement, a job loss, that can affect us all and create conditions that cause us to lose our homes.”
The play is a monologue 1 hour 20 minutes long, delivered by the main character called MAN, who could be any person, living in any city.
Jo explained: “His story is a mix of elements of actual homeless people’s stories, woven together with fiction and some political factoids, to create a timeline that goes from the 1970s to the present day.
“As he tells his life story, the MAN reveals how he rose from rags to riches and then fell from grace into homelessness.
“The play received a tremendous response and excellent reviews at its first outing so we decided to bring it back as soon as we were allowed after lockdown.”
Doors open at 6.30pm for pre-ordered picnics, bar and ice-cream from the Inn on the Park, and the play will go up at 7pm.
All seating is socially distanced and COVID-19 safe.