Sunday, December 3

Leeds Playhouse becomes foodbank collection point for I, Daniel Blake

As the world premiere stage adaptation of I, Daniel Blake comes to Leeds Playhouse they are turning themselves into a foodbank collection point.

The film focusing on the struggles of people on the margins in our country has been adapted by actor and comedian Dave Johns, who won the Best Actor award at the British Independent Film Awards and Best Newcomer at the EMPIRE Awards for his role in the film.

The proliferation of foodbanks across the UK is a central theme in the play, so the Playhouse is becoming a collection point for South & East Leeds Food Bank, which is part of the Trussell Trust Network with distribution points in Harehills, Beeston, Gipton, Seacroft, Morley, Hunslet, Halton, Rothwell and Belle Isle.

The South & East Leeds Food Bank supported more than 14,000 local people with emergency food in 2022-23, with 40% of the people supported being children, and there was a 30% increase in the need for food parcels from the previous year.

Photo: Pamela Raith

“I was thrilled to be asked to adapt Paul Laverty’s screenplay,” says David Johns.  “But I didn’t just want to put the film on stage, I wanted to update the story for 2023, making it contemporary and exploring more of single mum Katie’s journey and the family unit she forms with Daniel. To show the kindness, compassion, humour, and hope that can help us through the toughest of times.

“Sadly, during my research it was disheartening to find not much had changed since the film’s release. The story is still as relevant as it was in 2016, maybe even more so now with the cost-of-living crisis making it even harder for those who are already struggling. Daniel and Katie’s story could be anyone’s.”

The production features factual interviews, speeches and social media posts showing the impact of government decisions on people’s lives.

Audiences and visitors to the Playhouse are asked to donate urgently needed items including UHT milk, biscuits, coffee, tinned custard, dilute juice, personal hygiene items, tinned potatoes, cooking sauces, tinned tomatoes, and tinned fruit.

I, Daniel Blake is at Leeds Playhouse from 3rd -7th October . To Book online or 0113 213 7700