Following a recent nationwide survey revealing fears around the ageing process, a new ticket initiative is today announced offering free tickets to care workers for Bruntwood Prize winner and Olivier Award nominee James Fritz’s topical new play The Fall, which explores the prospect of ageing in a country in the midst of a crisis of care.

Carers will be given free tickets to the production through Carers UK, a charity supporting people caring unpaid for older and disabled people, and Southwark Carers. There will also be a Q&A panel to discuss the themes of the play on Thursday 10 May, with panellists including Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark and Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK. The production will run at Southwark Playhouse until 19 May. Tickets can be reserved by carers by emailing info@nyt.org.uk.

A recent survey of 414 people conducted by the National Youth Theatre (NYT), examined views on the themes of the play including loneliness, ageing and housing. The results showed that 80% of respondents thought loneliness impacted older people the most, with 87% of respondents having experienced loneliness themselves. 76% of those surveyed were worried that they wouldn’t be financially comfortable in their old age or would be a burden to family and friends. Fewer than 20% did not have any worries about being financially comfortable. Only 14% of the 414 respondents had a private pension scheme. Of the 382 respondents aged 30 and under, 86% were worried about being priced out of city living in the next 10 years, while over 1/3 thought they would never be able to afford their own home.

NYT Alumni James Fritz’s (Parliament Square, Four Minutes Twelve Seconds) The Fall will be directed by Matt Harrison and marks NYT’s debut production at Southwark Playhouse. The play takes a candid look at young people's relationships with older people and confronts the frightening prospect of ageing in a country undergoing a crisis of care.

Paul Roseby, Artistic Director and CEO of The National Youth Theatre said: ‘This vital production tackles the urgent crises in social care and housing with 10 talented young actors from all over the UK, all under the age of 25. It draws a line between the struggle faced by young people today and the precipice society stands on in terms of adult social care, imagining what life will be like for them in 60 years time. It's a play with heart, humour and fire in its belly that bridges the empathy gap between young and old.’

The research process for The Fall involved writer James Fritz talking with experts across the fields of social care, finance and government, as well as working closely with the NYT members themselves to honestly examine both their own experiences with older people and their thoughts, hopes and fears about what the world might be like for them when they reach old age.

The resulting play examines three interlocking subjects: the dangerous gulf that the modern world has allowed to develop between young people and the realities of being old; their potential near futures as struggling carers for their ailing parents; and, finally, what the world might be like for them when they themselves reach old age.

The cast includes Josie Charles, Jesse Bateson, Jamie Ankrah, Jamie Foulkes, Joshua Williams, Lucy Havard, Madeline Charlemange, Niyi Akin, Sophie Couch and Troy Richards.

The Fall
By James Fritz
Directed by Matt Harrison

Southwark Playhouse
Saturday 28 April – Saturday 19 May
Press performance: Thursday 3 May
Evening Performances: 28, 30 April, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 May
Matinee Performances: 12, 19 May
Website: www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/the-fall/
Box Office: 020 7407 0234

Biographies

James Fritz is an award-winning playwright known for Four Minutes Twelve Seconds (Hampstead Theatre and West End), his first full length play which was nominated for the 2014 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre and won him the Most Promising Playwright prize at the Critics Circle Theatre Awards the following year. Other works include the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe hit Ross & Rachel and the Bruntwood Prize-winning Parliament Square (Manchester Royal Exchange). Last year, his radio play Comment is Free won the Imison and Tinniswood Awards at the BBC Audio Drama Awards, marking the first time a single writer has won both awards in the same year.

Matt Harrison is a director, devisor and theatre maker and was the recipient of the NYT REP Bryan Forbes Directors Bursary in 2014. Direction includes Snowbird (Tristan Bates Theatre), Tales from the Bad Years (Landor Theatre), Futures (Lost Theatre), Please Wait Patiently (National Theatre Temporary Theatre) and The Pirates of Penzance (Tabard Theatre - Nominated for 'Best Musical Production' & 'Best Ensemble' in the 2013 Off West End Awards). Assistant Director credits include Kneehigh award-winning The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk and the recent West End production of Lady Windermere's Fan directed by Kathy Burke.
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