By Hannah Morpeth (September’s Guest Blogger)
According to the Joseph Roundtree Foundation we are all just two pay cheques away from becoming homeless. There are homeless people on most streets in city centre Newcastle, you only have to take a few steps off the metro to be asked for any spare change but the big question is how many of you give it? Or would you rather buy them a cuppa.
How Did I Get to This Point? is an interesting approach to theatre, it combines audience participation, recorded interviews with the general public and the standard staged acting we’re all used to. This combination enables the audience to connect theatre with reality in a way I haven’t seen before
Before seeing How Did I Get to This Point? I had never thought about where homeless people got their sleeping bags from. It seems such an obvious question now but I’d never thought of the more practical things, a child from the public cleared that one up for me: Argos. The audience were asked if they would give money to a homeless person, it appears popular for people to rather buy them a cuppa or a sandwich than actually give them money. I am guilty of just popping into a shop to buy them something and it wasn’t until about a week ago I actually took a person into the shop with me and let him pick something, it turns out he fancied a donut and a coffee with three sugars. How Did I Get to This Point? did well to address the fact that homeless people are real people who would like to be able to make choices too. It’s the little things like how you take your coffee that for some reason just go out of the window when approaching homeless people.
Writer and actor Ali Pritchard’s performance felt so natural and brilliantly believable, his description of his own experiences of being at risk of homelessness and the harsh reality that just about any of us can end up in that dire situation. It was particularly encouraging to see a piece of theatre about homelessness that wasn’t centred around substance misuse, it did well to dispel the stereotype that often comes along with homelessness.
Support for those at risk of homelessness: