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10th May, 2017

Social housing, not social cleansing

London South Bank University

Event Details

10th May, 2017
14:00 - 15:00
LSBU Southwark Campus - London Borough Road Building, Room 316

Join London South Bank University’s Dr Elena Marchevska and Serbian academic Dr Ana Vilenica as they discuss three case studies of recent verbatim theatre performance made in response to the so-called housing crisis.

Over the past decade, worsening affordability, homelessness and new forms of housing deprivation have become an increasing concern worldwide. These problems are particularly acute in London due to the housing bubble and years of austerity-led tax reforms and welfare cuts. The situation is aggravated by local councils that lack transparent strategies to deal with the crisis and are prone to making commercial agreements with private vendors. Moreover, there have been changes in housing policy which have disproportionally affected the working class, especially single mothers living on council estates.

This paper looks at three case studies of recent verbatim theatre performance made in response to the so called housing crisis. The shows Land of Three Towers (2016) made by You should see the other guy and E15 (2016) made by Lung Theatre, are verbatim re-tellings of the Focus E15 Mothers Group campaign in Newham, London. Libby Liburd’s solo verbatim show Muvvahood (2016) looks at the negative media stereotypes of single mothers in UK, and their struggle since the tax reforms of 2010.

In the first part of the paper we will look at ‘urban austerity’ and ‘urban regeneration’, as a feminist issue.

In the second part of the article, we will discuss the strategies employed by each of the theatre practitioners mentioned above, by looking at: their connections with the housing movement in London, how they represented the female activists and how they used humour in their work.

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