'It would be a great pity if Charlie's great work failed due to a lack of funding' - Sir Sean Connery, Actor and Producer
'Charlie's work deserves all the support it can get' - Sir Kenneth Branagh, Actor and Director
'Charlie’s work deserves to be seen. He is raising some very important issues and I personally hope that his show hits the stage’ - Stephen Robertson CEO Big Issue Foundation, and former CEO of SHELTER
'I find the work that Charlie Wiseman is doing highly original and worthy of support. The ideas are both comic and satirical and think it deserves to be made both on stage and the big screen.' - Timothy West CBE, Actor and President of LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Drama)
What is it about?
Big Sister is a community and charity focused theatre production which will be followed by a fundraising presentation by a homeless charity to raise awareness and funds to allow us to empower and support homeless and disenfranchised women in our society today.
Written by Charlie Wiseman, the play sees a group of homeless women in a 24 hr surveilled house as they compete to win a permanent place to live.
Why should you support it?
People, young and old, are becoming disaffected by society; dispossessed. The recent London riots served as one example of society's expression of this. As a society, we are more fragmented than ever, blanketed in frustration and vulnerability, with no one listening to the real needs of the people. Homelessness is manifestation of a broken system and women are falling victim to it every day. It can creep up on anyone at anytime. It could happen to you.
At the recent London Screenwriters Festival, Charlie and Louis decided to do something about it by both creating a performance about the homeless women in our society and raising funds for them at the same time.
When is it happening?
There will be a one-off matinee and evening performance with a homeless charity fundraiser, at the Chelsea Theatre on 13th July 2013 which, if successful, will be followed by further performances around London with a series of homeless charity partners.
How are you helping the homeless?
We are building awareness for the homeless women in our society and the charities that support them. We will be fundraising on the evening of the performance in partnership with a homeless charity.
If successful this kickstarter will enable us to deliver the performance to raise awareness to the wider communities around the stories of homeless women and their struggle in today's world, and also allow us to raise further funds for homeless charities after each performance.
Where is it being staged?
The project is to fund a one-off matinee and evening performance at the Chelsea Theatre on 13th July which, if successful, will be followed by further performances around London to help raise awareness and raise money for homeless, disenfranchised and vulnerable women in our society.
Who is it about and who will star in it?
This play is about a group of homeless women who get trapped into entering a 'live' TV competition series to win a place to live, whilst a storm brews outside.
We have various, experienced actresses on board some of whom are in the video above. We also have noted actors, artists and comedians engaged with our project. They include Timothy West CBE (President of Lamda) who has agreed to do a voiceover for us, Isis Olivier (granddaughter of Sir Laurence Olivier) who's kindly donated her art works to be displayed as well as offered her art for some levels of Donor reward (see Donor rewards section), and Kate Smurthwaite (renowned BBC Comedian) who will also be participating in the performance.
We also have had support and interest from various homeless charities in London and the UK who will also be supporting us during the project.
We have received interest from other theatres in London, and so hope to raise funds to further our performances and help continue to raise awareness and further donations to help the homeless women in our society.
A note from Charlie - the Director
The project Big Sister began when I was watching Big Brother one day while flicking channels and wondered how far it might be driven. Big Brother is from Orwell's '1984', but the idea of being observed and scrutinised as a homeless person is what '1984' fails to take account of. The World Health Organisation identifies the difference between a home which is a place of necessity and one that gives the occupier a sense of belonging and capacity for expansion in a safe place.
The Chelsea Theatre is a central venue on the King's Road, which already has a strong profile for community commitment, with space for local groups to rehearse or do yoga, but also exhibit art. This makes it particularly attractive for me, as I see the future of theatre as one which must be all inclusive; given the mediums of film, tv, it must honour its approach as a very direct form of communication to audiences to survive, involving them in a personal journey.
It fits in with the ground-breaking work of Grassmarket Project that we did earning a record number of awards at the Edinburgh Festival.
Quotes from the media
“I think that putting the homeless into a knockout housing elimination game is a cruelly accurate idea. The collapse of the sky could resonate in all kinds of ways, and also tie in with the theme of homelessness. I think there are some really piercing lines in the piece."
- Irving Wardle, the Independent on Sunday
“This is a comic and satirical farce that confronts the ethics of a television reality show that had the stated purpose of 'housing one homeless person’ - whilst clearly brutalising the lives and livelihoods of other participants is meant to make us cringe with embarrassment.
Big Sister is a satire intuitively directed by Charlie Wiseman and a work in progress for the Edinburgh Fringe. This is a dynamic and unusually original new work."
- Brigitte Treacy, the Guardian
Risks and challenges
We have some really good and relevant experience in staging plays and managing charity fundraisers based on our previous successes in this area.
Charlie Wiseman is an experienced and highly thought of Theatre Director with over 15 years experience directing on stage and screen and has worked with disadvantaged people all over the world.
Louis B has over 14 years of managing and leading charity, community driven and fundraising projects, as well as business and creative experience and has managed and led numerous projects to successful delivery. He is well respected in philanthropic circles and the wider community, and works with disadvantaged young people helping them in film and theatre production projects.
They both have an excellent support structure of industry professionals who are keen and supportive to make this exciting community project happen and raise awareness and fundraise for the charities involved.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (22 days)