Who Cares by Ruth Cochrane
In Salford alone, 34,000 children are caring for someone. Adapted from real-life testimonies, this bold and pertinent piece of documentary theatre examines our failing care system, the impact of austerity and what happens when a child becomes the parent. Jade, Connor and Nicole all care for parents and siblings. They must juggle school and homework with caring for family members, making appointments, collecting prescriptions and running the home. Their hidden lives of caring have impacted their education, social life and health. Their testimonies are woven together, alongside those of social workers and parents, in this hard-hitting play. It's tear-jerking throughout - accidents, abuse, disability, depression and suicide, all born on the backs of teenagers - and infuriating, too. Woodhead's script, filleted from interviews with real people who really faced these issues, points the finger squarely at austerity and its crippling effects on local councils and the services they can provide. (The Stage) A gripping verbatim theatre production based on a year of interviews that offers a rare insight into a year in the lives of young carers.