Austerity drama comes to Yarmouth church
'The Great Austerity Debate' came to Christchurch, Great Yarmouth on Tuesday October 23, when a powerful piece of drama involved the audience to help get the message across.
The forum-style theatre production was staged by Menagerie Theatre and was the brainchild of Patrick Morris, who was also the director.
The play focuses on a short period of time in the life of Megan, the main character, as she struggles with the pressures of debt, lack of childcare and unstable employment. The twist came half way through when the play itself finished, and Patrick Morris invited the audience to become part of the performance, re-enacting scenes, joining in and contributing ideas which might have a positive impact on Megan's life.
The original performance was bleak and seemed hopeless, but the participation of audience members introduced glimmers of hope through, for example, a supportive neighbour, and a credit union.
The final task of the evening was to discuss, in groups, the kinds of policy changes which would be needed to prevent Megan's situation happening or being perpetuated in reality. Suggestions included reforming / scrapping Universal Credit, and getting rid of zero hours contracts. These ideas will be added to those produced at performances all around the country.
This story was first published in the Imagine Norfolk Together newsletter.
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