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Old Vic’s dramatic partnership with homelessness charity

London SE1 website team

The Old Vic has created a dramatic new partnership, working with clients of St Mungo's and Chinwag Theatre to create a unique series of performances on the famous Waterloo stage.

Collectively entitled 'The Cut', the stories – which are all based around the theme of identity – will be performed at The Old Vic on Sunday 22 May at 7pm.

All the performances will centre on the struggle to rebuild and regain identity following homelessness. Focusing on self-discovery rather than self-pity, the stories will aim to highlight how becoming homeless can happen to anyone and that the key part of the experience is how you move forward.

Each story will be devised by the cast themselves – all clients of hostels in Lewisham and Southwark – whose workshops at The Old Vic, facilitated by drama experts from Chinwag Theatre, have improved not only their performance abilities, but also their confidence, self esteem and team building skills.

To complement the evening's theme, clients from St Mungo's are also creating visual art and written pieces inspired by the idea of identity. All artwork will be displayed in the theatre foyer before the performance.

The project was made possible by a generous donation from Montblanc, through their Art Patronage Award – an International initiative to support and nurture the Arts. This award was established in 1992 to honour and support patrons of the arts who have given exceptional time and energy in order to encourage artists and their work. In 2004, Old Vic chairman Sally Greene was chosen as the UK winner, receiving €15,000 for the St Mungo's project.

Sally Greene, chief executive of The Old Vic Trust, said: "I am delighted that we are working with St Mungo's – this is exactly the sort of community project The Old Vic should be involved with and we hope that it will become an ongoing relationship. I also would like to reiterate our thanks to Montblanc for their generosity."

Andy Shield, St Mungo's Director of Work & Learning Services, said: "This is the first time St. Mungo's have partnered a theatre and it is tremendously exciting for everyone involved. St Mungo's support our clients to rebuild their confidence and reduce the alienation and isolation that homeless people often feel. Projects like these really help that difficult process."

• 'The Cut' is performed on Sunday 22nd May 2005 at 7pm. The exhibition of artwork by St. Mungo's clients is from 6pm onwards. Tickes for 'The Cut' are 5 on the door, free to St. Mungo's clients. Interested parties should telephone 020 7981 0982 for further details.
• Alcohol will not be served on the night but soft drinks will be available.
• The evening is recommended for those aged 15 years and over due to the use of strong language in the plays.

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