I was so excited when I read about Housed online, a community production by the Old Vic and couldn’t wait to click and get my tickets, so I was devastated to see that the FREE tickets to the Old Vic’s Community Company production Housed by David Watson had ‘sold’ out! I was really hoping to support my fellow actor Michael Salami who had a role in the piece and of course any excuse to see some quality theatre, especially for free. Luckily a couple of weeks later Michael alerted me to a new batch and I snapped up four tickets.
Three of my friends Chukwudi Onwere, Daniel Bailey and Claudius Peters (who are also brilliant actors/creatives that I’ve worked with previously) accompanied me, which turned it into a mini-reunion too! 🙂
It was performed in the round and a brilliant depiction of London living. Housed was as honest as you can get, a great representation of the City and times we live in. From the women in the housing office acting as therapists to the estate agents and their selling skills and banter, to the heartbreaking story of a young teenage girl with undiagnosed mental issues living at home with her mum, falling pregnant and eventually committing suicide. The ‘Empty nester’ with the huge family home and no young family left to live in it, complaining about the lack of families and neighbourhood spirit on her road, wanting to move but fighting nostalgia and the housing market. The renters, the city workers, the bankers and those with no where to live. A big topic was the bedroom tax and how it affected people, the scenes alternated between light and funny to sad and disturbing yet kept you upbeat. I really enjoyed the underlying musical theme which made the scene changeovers slick and smooth and the topics at hand easier to digest. Michael was fantastic and Thea Gajic was mesmerising as the dreamy teenage girl who ended her own life. The whole play I wondered why I recognised her and then realised the next day that we worked together on a short film! On reading the program I discovered my Uncle Ken’s company Scott Fleary had made the set. I couldn’t believe it, funnily I had tried to invite him earlier I really related to this play and I guess I was bound to this show by the powers that be lol.
The Old Vic will be doing more community productions so if you’re interested in theatre or a budding actor/actress and interested in topics that affect the community. Click the link and check out their website: http://www.oldvictheatre.com