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Broke: Voices from the Edge

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UN International human rights day event, in partnership with iceandfire

  • Thursday 10 December 2009
  • Introductions: Dr Jenny Kuper, LSE; Sara Masters and Christine Bacon, iceandfire.
  • Performers: James Benson; Catherine Harvey; William Hope; Louise Jameson; Aicha Kossoko


Throughout his long life Professor Peter Townsend - a great friend of the Centre, advocate of human rights, and emeritus professor at LSE - worked hard first to prove the existence of poverty in Britain and then to persuade our society not to take such deprivation for granted. Peter Townsend died in June this year and this reading of 'Broke' by iceandfire is dedicated to his memory. Using dialogue from real-life interviews with people living in poverty in the UK, the actors explore the dismal side-effects of such gross disadvantage - the homelessness, the lack of affordable housing, the unemployment, the debt, and much else besides. The plight of the poor on its own doorstep mocks Britain's aspiration to be an ethical force in the world and a beacon of human rights standards at home. Often unseen and unheard, this reading gives the poor a voice.


An audio recording of this event is available to download as: mp3 (28 MB, approx 60 mins)