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Cardboard Citizens Announces Casting for THE RUFF TUFF CREAM PUFF ESTATE AGENCY

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The production runs at Belgrade Theatre from 9-16 October.

Cardboard Citizens Announces Casting for THE RUFF TUFF CREAM PUFF ESTATE AGENCY

Cardboard Citizens has announced full casting for the world premiere of its electrifying new musical, The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency, running at Belgrade Theatre from 9-16 October (press night: 12 October), in co-production with Belgrade Theatre and Coventry UK City of Culture.

The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency is a feel-good musical about community and DIY activism from the 1970s, based on an original work by the late activist, poet and playwright, Heathcote Williams. It tells the true story of a group of revolutionaries, artists and free-thinkers who created the world's first estate agency for squatters, offering free housing for anyone in need, and founded their own 1.8-acre microstate called 'The Free and Independent Republic of Frestonia' in Notting Hill in 1977. Now reimagined as a musical in Cardboard Citizens' 30th anniversary year, The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency, is directed by the Company's founding Artistic Director, Adrian Jackson, written by Coventry-born playwright, Sarah Woods, with music by former lead guitarist of the ground-breaking collective Chumbawamba, Boff Whalley.

The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency forms part of Coventry City of Culture's arts and homelessness festival, Home which runs from 8 - 16 October 2021 (coinciding with World Homeless Day on 10th October). The first of its kind in Coventry, the festival marks a week-long celebration of arts and homelessness projects in Coventry made by people who have lived experience of homelessness.

The eight-strong cast announced today is: Hannah Azuonye, Matt Burns, Hollie Cassar, Wesley Charles, Daisy Ann Fletcher, Benji Lord, Joseph Tweedale and Sarah Workman.

Joseph Tweedale plays John "Mad Dog" Sky, founder of The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency, the world's first estate agency for squatters. Friends and bandmates, Lu (Daisy Ann Fletcher) and Ally (Hannah Azuonye), are both new to the world of squatting and have turned up at the agency looking for somewhere to live and rehearse. Lu has hitchhiked down from Coventry trying to escape a difficult past for the bright lights of the city where punk is taking hold and everyone knows someone in a band. Luckily their list of options has exploded thanks to Dave (Benji Lord) who works in the Housing Department at Hammersmith Town Hall and moonlights at the agency sharing the inside-track on available properties. The nation is in the grip of a housing crisis, and more than ten thousand people are sleeping rough on the streets of London every night. The Ruff Tuff phoneline, manned by Cheffie (Sarah Workman) and Cliff (Wesley Charles), rings day and night. The system is broken and a revolution is needed. Together with John, Alan (Matt Burns) and Rosie (Hollie Cassar) have had an idea that will make headlines and history: they're going to turn their west London neighbourhood into a brand new nation.

Adrian Jackson, director of The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency, said: "It's so exciting to be telling the story of Frestonia with a super-talented cast. We need these stories of community and resilience as we emerge from this terrible time - art and activism really can change the world".

Joining the cast of The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency is a brand new choir uniting local people with lived experience of homelessness formed in partnership with The Choir with No Name. Cardboard Citizens has been working in Coventry since March, and half of the community chorus were participants in its Cardboard Camps residency at Belgrade Theatre.

The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency is co-produced by Cardboard Citizens, Coventry UK City of Culture, and Belgrade Theatre. It is directed by Adrian Jackson, with book and lyrics by Sarah Woods, music by Boff Whalley, based on an original work by Heathcote Williams. The production is designed by Ruth Sutcliffe, with lighting by Emma Chapman, sound by Chris Murray and choreography by Mark Smith. The Musical Director is Akintayo Akinbode, Assistant Director is Reaya Sealey, and the Costume Supervisor is Sarah Holland.

The Ruff Tuff Cream Puff Estate Agency is part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021's Caring City programme, supported by funding from Spirit of 2012.


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