Home at The Shed
With youth homelessness in the UK currently at a record high, director Nadia Fall confronts audiences at The Shed with a barrage of questions through her gutsy, original production, Home. But there is one fundamental question she and her powerful cast ask of their audience: what does it really mean to call somewhere home? Home tackles the issue of youth homelessness through a mockumentary-style play that brings to life the untold, unheard stories of the residents and workers in an East London hostel.
The residents of the Target East youth hostel vary from teenagers and young mums escaping abusive families and partners, to an Eritrean immigrant smuggled to London in a lorry, to young people in trouble with drugs and the law. The audience plays the interviewer as a handful of residents tell their stories on a guided tour of the community. Confrontational accounts of abuse, heartbreak and neglect are laced with humour and warmth as the bleakness of the setting is balanced by the discovery of each resident’s true character.
Kadiff Kirwan opens the show as a teenager with dreams of the stage who finds sanctuary at Target East after being kicked out of his home. His slightly camp rendition of Beyoncé’s Halo is both hilarious and beautiful as he reveals a sense of hope and buried ambitions beneath his struggle. Michaela Coel is full of life as the bubbly, excitable young mum who has been given the privilege of leading the tour around the hostel. Beatbox champion Grace Savage is a fantastic addition to the cast as the heavily pregnant Jade, despite not actually saying a word. Her argument over the phone voiced entirely by her award-winning beatbox skills is wonderfully fitting, as is her role as the human drum and bass back-up for the cast’s impressive a capella.
Trevor Michael Georges’ silky baritone leads the final song as the entire cast joins together, singing harmonies on “No shoulder to cry on”. For a diminutive cast of only eight, the quick pace and the team’s clever switching between multiple characters gives the illusion of a bustling, communal hostel, creating a convincing setting for the true stories of London’s often forgotten youth. Fall’s Home brings desperately needed attention to the truth behind youth homelessness.
Home is at The Shed until 7th September 2013. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Home here: