Big Issue Foundation

‘Unknown’ to be staged across UK during a month long tour this Autumn

Big Issue Foundation joins forces with award winning theatre company to highlight the ever-growing problem of homelessness in the UK.

Big Issue Foundation is delighted to announce that a critically acclaimed theatre production commissioned in association with Big Issue Foundation will be staged across the UK during a month-long tour this Autumn.  UNKNOWN – a play about poverty and homelessness – which has been created with support from The Arts Council was developed and produced in partnership with Roughhouse Theatre whose 2021 drama N17 won The National Campaign for The Arts 2021 Best Arts Project Award.

Moira Hunt – Director of Roughhouse Theatre – describes UNKNOWN as “a deeply compelling drama that tells the painfully true and profoundly moving story of a young man’s struggle to survive living on the streets of Britain today.” She also believes that it “should be seen by everyone who has ever crossed the road when approaching a homeless person in the street.”

First performed as a radio play in October 2020 and developed as a stage drama for a short tour in 2021, UNKNOWN has already received widespread acclaim – including being listed by The Guardian as one its readers’ favourite plays of 2020.

Unknown radio play
The cast and crew behind ‘Unknown’ managed to put the radio play together despite the Covid-19 pandemic

Intimate, extremely moving and wonderful performances.

The Guardian

Harrowing stories eloquently told – all the more shocking because we know them to be true.

Filmmaker Ken Loach

This is a seriously important piece of work that deserves as wide – and as angry – an audience as possible.

The Greenwich Visitor

Announcing the forthcoming tour of Unknown, Tracy Griffin – CEO of Big Issue Foundation – said that

with the exponential increase in homelessness over the last three years there has never been a more important time to raise awareness of the impact of poverty and the reality of life on the streets in the UK today. It is in this context that we are working with Roughhouse Theatre to bring their compelling drama to as wide an audience as possible.

The Background to Unknown

In just two years from 2017 to 2019, more than 800 people died living and sleeping rough on the streets of the UK – a significant number of them have never been identified or named. UNKNOWN is a poignant and powerful dramatisation of the tragic but true story of one young person’s journey from an abusive childhood to a life on the streets of Bath – one of the most affluent cities in the UK.

Supported by Arts Council England and Big Issue Foundation, UNKNOWN has been written by award winning playwright Dougie Blaxland with the assistance of six people who have recent experience of homelessness on the streets of Bath and Bristol: Sammy Clark, Nathan Dempster, Ian Duff, Paul Jones, Lloyd Rusdale and Anthony Williams. 

UNKNOWN is directed and produced by RoughHouse Theatre.

Dates & Performances

Reading, Coventry, Birmingham, Derby

  • Oct 11 South Street Studio Reading
  • Oct 12 Ben Travers Theatre Charterhouse Godalming 
  • Oct 13 Old Joint Stock Theatre Birmingham
  • Oct 14 Old Joint Stock Theatre Birmingham
  • Oct 15 Derby Theatre Studio Derby

London and Cambridge

  • Oct 17 Town and Gown Theatre Cambridge
  • Oct 18 Greenwich Theatre London
  • Oct 19 Greenwich Theatre London
  • Oct 20 Greenwich Theatre London
  • Oct 21 Greenwich Theatre London
  • Oct 22 Greenwich Theatre London

Worcester, Manchester, Wisbech

  • Oct 25 Vesta Tilley Studio Swan Theatre  Worcester
  • Oct 26 Vesta Tilley Studio Swan Theatre  Worcester
  • Oct 27 Salford Arts Greater Manchester 
  • Oct 28 Salford Arts Greater Manchester
  • Oct 29 Angles Theatre Wisbech

Bath, Cheltenham, Guildford

  • Nov 1 The Egg Theatre Royal Bath
  • Nov 2 Everyman Theatre Studio Cheltenham
  • Nov 3 Everyman Theatre Studio Cheltenham
  • Nov 4 The Core at Corby Cube Corby
  • Nov 5 Mill Studio Yvone Arnaud Guildford

See more here: https://www.roughhousetheatre.com/unknown2022

Images: Lisa Hounsome

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Fabulous Fleecy Fundraising
Big Issue Foundation

Fabulous Fleecy Fundraising

Vendor Updates: Summer 2022
Big Issue Foundation

Vendor Updates: Summer 2022

Putting His Best Foot Forward
Big Issue Foundation

Putting His Best Foot Forward

Big Issue Foundation is on Discord
Big Issue Foundation

Big Issue Foundation is on Discord

Most Popular

Read All
Oil giants Shell and BP have been handed £700m of taxpayer cash despite bumper profits
1.

Oil giants Shell and BP have been handed £700m of taxpayer cash despite bumper profits

What are the risks of Don't Pay UK? We asked a leading lawyer
2.

What are the risks of Don't Pay UK? We asked a leading lawyer

How broken is the UK's public transport? I spent all day on buses to find out
3.

How broken is the UK's public transport? I spent all day on buses to find out

Sadiq Khan's Right to Buy-back scheme leads to return of 1,500 council homes
4.

Sadiq Khan's Right to Buy-back scheme leads to return of 1,500 council homes

Keep up to date with the Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.