Show and Tell Theatre Company: Can This Be England?

The Company

Can This Be England - first production - Link to Photographs

Angela Howard

Angela writes: “The character of Kate in the play is loosely based on a friend I visited and found struggling not only with her severe M.E. but with a mammoth form from the DWP. I thought, ‘People should know how cruel this is. What can I do apart from writing to my M.P.?’”

“I’ve always been interested in writing and performing drama, and decided that to show through a play how people are being affected by the benefits cuts might be a positive thing. Following the play with a discussion gives an opportunity for others to air their frustrations and find a voice.”


Jackie Bartlett

Jackie is a Quaker. Two years ago she acted as an Advocate for a friend who was refused benefit despite being medically unfit for work, an experience which had a profound effect upon her. ”For the first time,” she says, “I realised that the safety net which so many rely on was, in fact unreliable. I supported my friend throughout the process right up to a successful appeal.”

Jackie is a writer whose work includes short stories, children’s fiction and poetry much of which has appeared in small magazines and anthologies. She published a small collection, “Stories”, to celebrate her 70th birthday in 2009.


Angela Neville

Angela enjoyed success in young writer’s festivals for BBC Radio 4 and the Royal Court Theatre. Since 1994 she has been a member of Essex Audio Theatre as a writer, director and actor for independent radio drama. In 2012 her fantasy novel The Season Saga was published.

With Can This Be England? Angela is writing from personal experience, having worked as an advisor for Jobcentre Plus, supporting customers on health related benefits. For her, Can This Be England? Is an attempt to highlight how the impact of benefit cuts and the callous system of targets affects both customers and staff.


Christine Bainbride

Production Assistant/Understudy.


Jean Donald

Theatrical Advisor.

Images on Flickr

The Production


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