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The Torch Theatre welcomes a drama called Finding Home - a production focusing on true life stories of homelessness on Tuesday 2 May and Wednesday 3 May at 7.30pm. 

We wanted to find out more about the actors, the writers and the plot, so the Torch Marketing Team did some digging ... 

Tell us a bit about your role in Finding Home.

Nick Hywell (Cobbit):

I play ‘Cobbit’, a former soldier living on the streets of Cardiff after returning home from the peace keeping mission in Bosnia.  During the course of ‘Finding Home’, we learn Cobbit’s reasons for being on the street and how he deals with the trauma and guilt of his conflict experiences.  It has made me think a lot about how our armed service men and women are treated after fighting for their country.

Briefly describe what the drama is about?

Bethan Morgan (Writer & Lola):

‘Finding Home’ is about the reality of homelessness in this country. It follows a varied group of characters who find themselves without a home all for different reasons. They come together and create their own family. We see the hardships they face and the results: some happy, some very sad.

Has the subject been an eye opener for you?

Nia Ann (Claire):

Preparing for this project has been a heart-rending and truly valuable experience.

Listening to people telling their stories about how they became homeless has given me a glimpse of the complexities that can cause homelessness - leading, forcing, or compelling a person to sleep rough. Most striking has been the uniqueness of each person’s journey, that the road to homelessness doesn't follow some kind of ‘playbook’.

While focusing on developing my character, I really want to show the granularity of a person realising homelessness - that defining moment when she truly grasps her situation. Of course, by the time we meet her, Clare has been homeless for a while - sleeping in her car. But when that final personal space is taken from her and her cash has dwindled away, we see her coming to terms with the reality that nobody is waiting to swoop to her rescue - and that her anticipated “systems” are not there, not fit for purpose, or too tied up in red tape.

The maddening and infuriating elephant in the room is that COVID showed us that when the will is there, governments and unwieldy bureaucracy are capable of rapid and decisive action. Tragically, that focus was only there for a fleeting moment, before the previous disinterest and disdain returned.

The drama is based on true events, has this affected you emotionally?

Rowan Talbot (Composer & Jimmy):

During the research and development phase of the project we, as a company, spent a lot of time reading and discussing the real life stories of people who had experienced homelessness. It was, at times, an affecting and emotional process. Many of the stories we read and heard were heart-breaking. It’s difficult not to feel compassion for the individuals who had had such awful experiences. The more stories we read and the more people we talked to throughout that process the more we realised how important it was that we told this story.

What effect do you hope the drama will have on the audience?

Bethan Morgan (Writer & Lola):

I hope that the audience will be made more aware of the struggles that people who find themselves homeless face. The aim is that the audience will realise that you shouldn’t make general assumptions that people end up on the streets because they are wasters and drug users, but there are many varied reasons why they are where they are and many traumas that have been experienced. Some reasons may perhaps be close to home for some audience members.

How important do you think it is that we share experiences of homelessness with Wales and the world?

Sarah Pugh (Megan):

It is extremely important to share these experiences as homelessness is not defined by borders. To destroy the inaccurate stereotypes people have of the homeless community, we must raise awareness of the long list of reasons someone may find themselves without a place to call home. We must share how inaccessible the limited government funding and systems put in place are but also challenge the audience to question their role in society and how they can help.

Had you realised the effects of homelessness had on individuals, their families and charities prior to taking the role?

Mari Izzard (Charlie):

Before ‘Finding Home’ I was aware of what was probably the bare minimum, what was easily available in the news or noticing the increase in homelessness on our streets. But I can’t say that I knew or was aware of how much it affects individuals/how much I know now, since starting rehearsals! It really has been an eye-opening project!

Are you looking forward to visiting the Torch and Pembrokeshire and why?

Rhys Downing (Bagsy):

I’m delighted to be returning to the torch & Pembrokeshire as a proud West Walian. I have tremendous memories of visiting the stunning county and performing in Milford Haven, including my first tour as a professional actor a decade ago. I hope to make the most of my time there on and off stage.

Finding Home will visit the Torch Theatre on Tuesday 2 May at 7.30pm and Wednesday 3 May at 7.30pm. Tickets £14 / £12 concessions. Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office on 01646 695267 or click here. 


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