Just over an hour later, we stopped for tea and biscuits and informal conversation. We then voted which of the characters we'd most like to help - and the vote went in favour of Jess, an 18-year-old girl facing multiple issues. As scenes were re-enacted, members of the audience stopped the drama at critical points and took on the role of Jess themselves, exploring the outcome of different ways of reacting and behaving. The other characters responded brilliantly to each new scenario, helping us all to see that even in the most pressured situation, the downward spiral can be halted and reversed.
It may not have been easy watching; it may have challenged us all to think more deeply and empathise more fully; but it was profoundly hopeful and constructive - a very worthwhile aspect of our 'Left Out in the Cold' project.
Thanks to Fr John Cross and St Peter Apostle RC Church for hosting the performances free of charge and providing the refreshments. Thanks to Warwick District Council and the Fry Housing Trust, sponsors of this event. And thanks to Cardboard Citizens for including us in their schedule and bringing Glasshouse to Leamington.
There's another performance tonight (Friday 11 April) at 7.00pm; the production moves to The Curve, Leicester on 15 April. Take a look at www.cardboardcitizens.org.uk for more information.