The next in Sherman Theatre’s Heart of Cardiff audio theatre series will be Housemates by Tim Green, in association with one of Europe’s leading inclusive theatre companies Hijinx.
When Ely hospital patient Alan Duncan crashed into the life of student Jim Mansell, it set in motion a series of events which led to a revolution in care. Jim and fellow students went on to live together with hospital patients in a shared house close to the Sherman.
Joe Murphy said: “We’re so proud to be working with Hijinx on this distinctly Cardiffian true story. The impact of Alan Duncan and Jim Mansell’s friendship, and the ensuing research, had national and even international impact on the social care system.
“It’s incredible to be bringing a lesser-known side of the city’s change-making history to life with this play, and it was vital for us that we ensure the actors involved were representative of the community the play hopes to reflect and to serve.”
Playing the part of Alan will be actor Tom Powell. A member of Hijinx, Tom made his professional screen debut as Aiden in Vespers, by Artur Zaremba for 3angrymen Productions. He recently played Rob ‘The Beast’ Evans for Hijinx’s acclaimed short, The Matthew Purnell Show.
Tom said: “I feel really excited about telling Alan’s story for Sherman Theatre. Alan’s story changed everything for adults like me with Down’s Syndrome.
“His story and his life mean that I can make my own choices about how I live my life. I can’t wait to tell his story.”
Ben Pettitt-Wade, Artistic Director of Hijinx, said: “We are delighted that Tom Powell has been able to join this production, and be part of the telling of such an important story.
“The history around Ely Hospital, and its connection with a monumental change in the social care system in the UK is rooted in Cardiff, and one we have long been looking for a way to tell. This collaboration with The Sherman and writer Tim Green has been the perfect opportunity to be a small part of doing that.”
Jim will be played by Duncan Hallis. With recent performances in Final Cut for Yello Brick and Wales Millennium Centre, Cuckoo Time for Desperate Men, and Advent (Happenus) for Tinshed and Big Loop, Duncan has worked across Wales and beyond as a performer, theatre maker and director.
Playing the Doctor will be Manon Eames. Having already performed in two previous audio dramas in the Heart of Cardiff series – Crafangau by Nia Morais and Bratiaith by Mali Ann Rees –Manon has been a series regular. Yasemin Özdemir joins the cast to play the ensemble voices. A recent graduate from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Yasemin also performed in a Heart of Cardiff audio drama: See For Yourself by Claire Boot.
Housemates will be directed by Joe Murphy, with assistant director Yasmin Begum, and Composition and Sound Design by Tic Ashfield.
Housemates will be available to stream free from 10 December until 7 January 2021 at heartofcardiff.co.uk.