London’s Pleasance Theatre is set to be turned into a sauna next month as a cast telling the stories of LGBTQ homeless people takes to the stage.
No Sweat, created by former Cardboard Citizens assistant director Vicky Moran, explores how prejudice and austerity intersect to create a critical situation for young LGBTQ people – thought to make up a quarter of the UK’s young homeless population.
The script, drawn from real stories and interview clips, is set in a gay sauna where many young people seek shelter. It shines a light on how difficult it is for LGBTQ people to find shelter while under a government that consistently cuts back services.
Creator Moran said she was inspired by stories she heard while working with Cardboard Citizens – stories which she insists are still hugely underrepresented in conversations around homelessness and in theatre.
She said: “I realised that a massive part of people’s journeys was how their identity played into it. Particularly for our young people, many of them were LGBTQI+ and so their experiences, of course, were completely different to many others who weren’t.
“Of course there are moments of joy, laughter and hope – ultimately it is a play about community and friendship. However, it is also a play that is based off real-life stories. Life is tough for all of us and comes with many challenges, even if you were born into families or countries that accept us for who we are.”