Night of Lancaster floods brought to life

The cast and crew from After The Floods
The cast and crew from After The Floods

Homeless people relived the night of Storm Desmond this week with a performance they will now take to stages across the North West.

Service users and volunteers from Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service (LDHAS) presented After The Floods in conjunction with The Dukes, regaling a small audience with their experiences of the night that Lancaster flooded.

The interactive performance told the story of the night of December 5 through the eyes of homeless people in the city. The audience was invited into tents while the sound of heavy wind and rain played out loudly around them, and stories were told of how those living on the streets coped with the severe weather.

Later, audience members helped to construct a makeshift shelter out of tarpaulin, and one boy “floated about in the water” in an upturned fridge. Cups of tea were then handed out as audience members and performers chatted about their experiences.

One of the performers, Dylan Hernandez, said: “I’m interested in the media side of things and I go round visiting schools talking to children about what it’s like to be homeless.

“I was homeless for 10 years in Yorkshire before coming here. The (homeless) centre is brilliant. I’ve helped put this together and there have been many more people who have had some input.”

Hilary Wellgate, who organises activities at the homeless centre in Edward Street, said: “We’ve been working on this for the last year. Over 50 people have attended workshops, and we’ve built up the stories from real accounts from people in the city. It’s been really good because we’ve had proper funding for this, which has enabled us to have a really good set and great music.”

The show will go to Preston, Blackpool, Morecambe Foyer (December 8), Liverpool and Manchester.