Following 5-star sell-out successes at Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and an acclaimed run at London’s Ovalhouse, Theatre Témoin’s The Marked will tour the UK’s regional homeless ‘hotspots’, using mask, puppetry and physical theatre to navigate a haunting, mystical world inspired by real-life stories of homelessness.
As a boy, Jack lived in a world of monsters and invisible guardians, as he fought to protect the people he loved. Now grown up, his life on the streets of London is less fantastical. But when a ghost from his past turns up, Jack must harness the power of forgotten myths to defeat her.
At its heart, The Marked is a story about the link between trauma in childhood and homelessness in adulthood, exploring the vivid internal landscapes that we create and discover through pain and healing.
This is an emotional rollercoaster ride that pulls no punches…there are touches of humour that are welcome relief… The three cast members…give stellar performances in a moving, thought-provoking play (British Theatre Guide).
In 2016, Government street counts estimated around 4,134 people sleeping rough on any one night across England. Since 2010, homelessness has increased nationwide by 55%, with an unprecedented 100% increase in rough sleepers in London. With ongoing cuts to services, this trend is expected to continue. Theatre Témoin feel that it is vital that the most vulnerable in our communities have a voice on stage.
The Marked was developed alongside community consultants with experience of homelessness from St. Mungo’s Recovery College and Cardboard Citizens, who participated in Mask Theatre workshops delivered with the generous support of Big Lottery’s Awards for All scheme.
Theatre Témoin has an engagement-centred approach to devising, working with community partners and consultants at every stage of the process. Devising Director Ailin Conant comments, While researching The Marked and listening to the stories of people experiencing homelessness, it became increasingly clear to me that for some people fantastical beliefs are a matter of urgency, of vital necessity. When you have lived through powerful experiences, you need an equally powerful language and framework to describe those experiences.
The Marked has been developed in co-production with Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, with support from The Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England, Awards for All, The Pleasance Islington, Queen Mary University of London, and Camden People’s Theatre.