music theatre with a punch
a real look at the surreal world of the homeless
the art of finding pearls in the gutter and music in a soup kitchen
HOME is set in Sydney’s Kings Cross. Most action takes place in and around a Soup Kitchen run by the warm-hearted Sista Jo. In the first few scenes we meet the homeless protagonists: Nicky, who dropped out of High School before finishing year 10; Emily, who struggles with mental problems; Shakespeare, a street poet and social misfit; the Jockey, a university graduate unable to find paid employment; Old Paddy, a veteran drunk with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the area and the human condition of the poor.
Gradually we learn more about their dreams and aspirations, their frictions and frustrations, and about how difficult it is to escape the vicious cycles they are caught up in. The childhood situation of both Nicky and Shakespeare is one of sexual abuse and violence. A ticket that doesn’t give an easy start, and is more often than not the recipe for repetition. It becomes clear that some of the worst aspects of homelessness are loneliness and isolation.
We see how some characters find a way to pull themselves out of their personal abyss (Nicky), others manage to tightrope-walk along the edge (Emily, Paddy, the Jockey) and one is pulled further down into the pits (Shakespeare). At the opposite ends of the spectrum, Nicky goes into detox and re-starts high school, while Shakespeare falls into theft, drug abuse and suicidal tendencies. Sista Jo rescues him when he overdoses one night.
Later, the young people meet in the local library and discuss the lack of vision and true care from governments. As they analyse the competitive fabric of our society, based on their own direct experiences, they challenge one another to come up with ideas beyond the ‘norm and apathy’ of reality. Whilst hanging on to hope and vitality, the play poses serious questions about how such inequality is possible in a rich country like Australia.
HOME includes many insights gained from our fieldwork and engagement with: Missionbeat, Youth Off The Streets, The Salvos, Anglicare, St Vinnies, Ted Noffs Foundation.
HOME is relevant to the following curriculum areas: Society & Culture, PDHPE, Geography, Drama, Music, English and Social Justice/ Religious Education.
Our cast of 7 actors is augmented by audience volunteers, who are briefed before the show. They take on a range of small parts: homeless youth, or city folk out on the street, or passengers on a bus. This involves a little text and/or a simple action, in scenes together with our actors. An excellent opportunity for drama students! This active participation is highly engaging and educational and has an immediate, positive effect on the audience: the story becomes theirs.
· Suitable for High School students year 7-12.
· Duration is 90 minutes. Add 5 minutes either side for audience entry and exit.
· We will need an open space hall, theatre, gym or drama room. We will use one of the walls as backdrop.
. The audience will be seated partly on the floor, partly on chairs.
· 6 volunteers are instructed by our cast to take on small parts. This briefing is done 30 minutes prior to the start of the show.
· Teacher’s notes with extensive background info are available.
· Costs are $8 p.p. This is negotiable where there is disadvantage.
· Audience size: maximum 150 students per performance, depending on the venue.
To book, phone: (02) 9665 6489 or 0415 391 533 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org