The Edge runs regular drama and singing workshops at the Booth Centre for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Together we have produced a unique company making high quality theatre.
We work with to produce 2 shows a year which are performed at The Edge. The shows produced create opportunities for friends, family, other people who are homeless and staff to see participants achieve. They also raise the profile of homelessness and the arts, including members of the general public who have their perceptions challenged through seeing a high quality performance produced by the company.
THAT’S THE TROUBLE WITH THE POOR
Thursday 11th – Saturday 13th July 2019
Manchester, Summer 1819. There’s a new landlord in The Dog and Duck on Mosley Street and the regulars are showing him the ropes. There’s talk of a big meeting planned on St Peter’s Fields and there’s a rumour that the famous orator Hunt will be addressing the crowds… they say its going to change their lives forever… and what’s more, it promises to be a lovely sunny day.
The Edge in Chorlton have built up a huge and deserved reputation for working with people who are, for the want of a better phrase, on the ‘edge’ of society…– Matthew Dougall, Review Number 9 (They Can't Take That Away From Me - July 2018)
This show was giving these citizens a meaning and a reason to stay alive perhaps sounds a little melodramatic and exaggerated; but after speaking with some of them after the show, that really was the case. I can only continue my own silent applause now as I type – not just to those who performed the show, but to all those who had the vision and dedication to see this project through and make it work so wonderfully.
This has given people the opportunity to develop and showcase their skills and talents. It is inspirational to watch.Amanda Croome, MBE, CEO of The Booth Centre
The show was funny, clever and provocative throughout. The cheers and claps at the end were not just polite but well earned and infectiousLive Art Alive (A Spanish Adventure, July 2017)
I was drinking heavily for 13 years and I couldn’t hold down my job and had to move in with my dad. My mum passed away around the same time. My drinking and drug taking spiralled out of control and I couldn’t stay with him anymore. I slept rough in the city for three weeks. It was really scary, even for a bloke. I would find the most hidden places to sleep, just so nobody could find me. I realised then that you can either sink, or you can learn to swim fast! I ran out of money and ended up being forced to beg on the streets. The Town Hall recommended I go to the Booth Centre for support.
I started coming to the Booth Centre every day and joining in all the different activity sessions. I got involved in the drama group and have just had a part in the summer play, a murder mystery. I managed to remember all my lines, and loved seeing the audience’s reaction. I never thought I’d enjoy it so much but it has really helped improve my confidence and I am now volunteering at The Booth Centre as a peer mentor and I am in permanent accommodation. Having something so positive to get so involved in which provided an alternative to negative activity had such a big impact on me.
I found myself homeless two years ago, whilst I was at university. I fell in with a bad crowd, and lost everything. I slept rough on doorsteps, in tents and under bridges. It felt awful, it was lonely. I had nobody and nothing. I heard about the Booth Centre, and eventually I knew I needed to make a change and I visited the Centre for some help.
Soon I became involved in the weekly drama sessions. Drama is something I’ve done since school, so it was so good to be given the opportunity to get back into acting. The sessions with Janine from The Edge gave me the chance to forget my problems for a few hours, concentrate on something I’m good at, and the chance to be someone else.
My confidence has really improved. I am now going back to university to study film. I’ve got a bounce back in my step and a smile on my face, it feels like I’ve found myself again.
I’ve learnt a lot from being part of the Booth Centre and the drama project particularly. It’s great to be in accommodation now, and working towards getting myself sorted.
I could complain about the things that have happened in my life, or I could see it as life’s lessons and look to the future, which is what I’m doing. Thank you to everyone who has been there, because without them, I wouldn’t be.