Land of the Three Towers Vol II, You Should See The Other Guy. Exeter Street Hall, Brighton 11 May 2018
This is a new Brighton Fringe Show tackling the UK housing crisis. Inner city regeneration has consequences. Communities are uprooted. People struggling to keep a roof over their heads have nowhere to go. A desperate housing crisis is made worse by the gentrification of large areas of inner city London. How can we resist social cleansing? Made by women who’ve experienced homelessness, and housing activists from Focus E15 Campaign, this unique ensemble show uses real words, song and civil disobedience to take a creative look at the London housing “crisis” and what we can do about it.
Six women explore through their stories in song and poetry the problems faced in trying to find a home under the pressures of austerity and lack of housing. Anger and resentment can sometimes lead to despair but can also lead to positive action and communities pulling together to fight the injustices of the lack of housing.
The performance tells a powerful story through a series of mesmerising pieces that flow together and move around the small space in front of the audience. The performers are all women who have real experience of the threat of or reality of homelessness in London, as well as a candidate for Hackney council as well as a number of longstanding housing activists from across the UK. It has also been co-directed by a Lewes local. The impetus behind this work is to highlight the injustices of the social housing system and provide a practical toolkit for resisting social cleansing.
I was moved and inspired by their stories and entranced by the words and rhythm of the performance. The Fringe Festival always has something that surprises you and stands out as something special. This show certainly did that for me this year.