Theatre review: highlighting housing injustice

March 7, 2024

(c) SPID Theatre

Oluwatamilore Orekan shares her feelings on powerful play and burning need for change

“Social housing is disgusting, and so are the people that live in it” – an opinion held by some people in the UK and a statement the brilliant young actors of SPID Theatre effectively dissected and dismantled in a heartfelt production titled DIY.

The disgust that was conveyed during the first scene I watched was extreme – I was taken aback. DIY is a play about social housing that delves into the discriminatory views held by wider society, by those who know not the value and the worth of the people who live in these buildings – people who have made these buildings their homes.

A safe home should be the planet we share

Some would rather look onto the exterior of these buildings with loathing – or worse still, deem the people who utilise the help of the government to survive as leeches or lazy; no good, worthless; something-for-nothing, dishonest people.

And to see such hatred performed by children as young as 13, reminded us that “a safe home should be the planet we share”!

This thought-provoking performance triggered a visceral reaction within me to elevate plays that teach young people through acting (as well as behind-the-scenes work which some young people had the pleasure of taking part in with SPID) about the horrors and the atrocities in today’s society.

Such plays are also about connecting and being a part of the wider community in a way that’s never been done before, that’s both interactive (which was another highlight of the play) and entertaining.

The sense of urgency to change the current climate of social housing was felt in the air

This is a must in all communities in our society. As the actors recounted the stories they had heard and watched first-hand during their visits to social housing, the sense of urgency to change the current climate of social housing was felt in the air.

To quote the play, “Having nowhere to cook, nowhere to stay, never having an address” is an issue this nation, nay the world should be focused on improving and changing till there is a safe place for everyone to live.

We should put an end to “the endless unescapable pain that drives profits”. After the haunting revelations that led to the burning of Grenfell Tower, the social housing development where highly flammable materials were used, leading to the deaths of 72 people, with several hundred displaced on top of that, this proves how much charities like SPID Theatre are needed in today’s society.

I give this show 5 stars out of 5. SPID Theatre are making art advocating for housing justice, and their play DIY has done just that.

DIY was performed at the Bush Theatre, Shepherd’s Bush in February 2024.

Oluwatamilore is a unique writer delving into topics about life through different mediums. A lover of movies and TV shows, she often writes and films movie and TV show reviews on her YouTube channel @tamsiex. Having published and performed her own poetry, she continues to write her own poetry, novels and scripts. In her free time she teaches herself Maths and volunteers for creative companies.

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