Often theatrical performances are viewed as simple entertainment but in actuality they can be a poignant and eye opening form of education and awareness. The new production fo Follow Me Home, which is set to take to the stage of the Griffin Theatre in June, is the latter. Throughout a performance of Follow Me Home audiences will be made aware of the staggering issue of youth homelessness afflicting New South Wales.
Created in conjunction with the NSW Advocate For Children & Young People (ACYP) the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) has created a show which uses true stories to raise awareness of youth homelessness and the ways which it manifests in NSW communities.
According to Director Fraser Corfield youth homelessness is a much bigger issue that we perhaps realise. “There are 18,000 young people in NSW alone that access homeless services. So it’s a massive issue that is present in every major metropolitan centre in the State.” Perhaps the reason we don’t realise just how big of an issue youth homelessness is relates to the ways it manifests in our community, which is where Follow Me Home hopes to play a big role.
“The thing that we latched onto very quickly with the show was that youth homelessness is generally not what people expect,” said Corfield. “We tend to think of homeless people as people who sleep on the streets or under bridges, they are very visible to us, whereas in NSW youth homelessness is overwhelmingly not that. The vast majority of young people who are considered homeless are crashing at other people’s houses or couch surfing and navigating their homelessness in other ways. So we created a series of different stories which looked at the myriad of different ways that people are homeless, even those people who don’t look at themselves as homeless or wouldn’t be identified as such by those around them are represented in Follow Me Home.”
The Griffin Theatre production of Follow Me Home will be the second season for the show, and they are “getting the band back together” because the cast and crew all recognise the importance of this piece.
“This show really opened our eyes to an element of society that we may not have been aware of otherwise,” said Corfield. “Follow Me Home has a lasting impact on people and we hope that this show can normalise an understanding of the issue and normalise people speaking about it.”
Jun 16-Jul 3. Griffin Theatre, 13 Craigend St, Darlinghurst. $25-$42+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.griffintheatre.com.au