Drowning in Debt: The story

Lockleaze Stories

In the weeks and months leading up to the first performances in the acta theatre in early March, excitement, nerves and anticipation were building for the group of women from ‘Lockleaze Stories’ taking part in their latest devised production: Drowning in Debt: bitten by sharks. Based on true, horrific stories of people finding themselves in difficult financial situations and being tricked into using a loan shark, the show had potential to be incredibly powerful and moving…

Directors and acta associates, Jody Cook and Tracey Harvey, are the ones behind this remarkable company of women in Lockleaze. Audiences have responded positively to this, their latest original show, a new hard hitting piece based on real life stories of people turning to loan sharks:-

“Fantastic production, such an important issue to raise awareness of.”

Community theatre does so much good, I can see the confidence it gives people!” – Lockleaze Councillor, Gill Kirk

“What a hard hitting show. Fabulous cast. Loved the show. Was very powerful. 10/10.”

“Show felt very realistic. It was horrid, learning about the victims and the circumstances which made them easy targets and the levels loan sharks stoop to and how easily it all went wrong. All the ladies in the show were so professional. It was so emotional and realistic and harrowing to watch. Fantastic job, everyone!”

“It was hard-hitting! Great use of music, staging, actors’ real stories to create impact.”

BBC Radio Bristol also took the opportunity to highlight this issue to the wider community, on Tues 10 March. Hear the interview with Tracey Harvey here. [2hrs 22mins from start]

“At the beginning of September we were given the important job to devise an informative show about the dangers of loan sharks and the effects of illegal money borrowing.

The Illegal Money Lending team spent an afternoon with us, where we learnt all about the law regarding loan sharks and shared some real life stories of victims and prosecutions the team have made.

As directors, we then took these stories back to the Lockleaze group and used them as a base to develop the show along with our own real life experiences of debt. From this we began to really understand just how easy it would be to find ourselves drowning in debt, where a loan shark might feel like the only way to escape.

We cannot thank the cast enough for taking part in this important project. Week after week they have turned up to discuss and devise this show, with such a difficult subject matter, aspects of which have touched many of our own lives.

We are so incredibly proud of each and every one of them and of this powerful piece of theatre we have created.”

Jody Cook & Tracey Harvey – Directors of Drowning in Debt

A Final Thank You…

To Wendy Loades of Stop the Loan Sharks and to the team at Wessex Water for being such proactive and supportive funders, and for coming to see the show and participate in the Q&A.

We are very excited to perform the show again in local communities – dates tbc.