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Abstract'Belong’ is a contemporary radio drama set in Dublin, told from the perspective of Christy - a single homeless man in his late fifties. Following the breakup of a long-term relationship he loses his job due to his mental health issues and is evicted from his bedsit when the property owner decides to convert the building into luxury apartments. Unable to find affordable accommodation, Christy is forced to take refuge in emergency hostels but eventually ends up sleeping rough on the streets. Christy's depression makes him extremely anxious, withdrawn, and afraid of connecting with new people or reaching out for help. Despite this, Christy befriends Kevin, a young man who spent much of his youth being abused while in foster care and now living on the streets. A rehabilitation opportunity emerges which can save Christy - but can he help Kevin avoid a life on the streets? In the radio drama, ‘Belong’ the authors aim to raise awareness for the homeless crisis in Ireland, and give those struggling on the streets a national voice. In highlighting the plethora of challenges facing those struggling to maintain a roof over their head, the issue of spiralling property crisis which is impacting generations of vulnerable people across the country is laid bare. Another key focus of the drama is the cultural stigma around mental health issues, the lack of key support services for those with limited means, and the resulting struggle for those affected to reach out and access help. The drama is also in recognition of the many staff and volunteers who are helping those on the streets of Ireland every day of the year through organisations such as the Simon Community, Focus Ireland and many more. This project was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee. ‘Belong’ is brought to you by the multi-award winning team at Henchman Productions that brought the previous audio dramas Home Again, Matches and Yummy Mummy to Newstalk. The team has won six New York Festivals International Radio Awards, competed at the Prix Europa in 2015 and 2016 and won Best Drama at the PPI Radio Awards 2015. CREDITS: ‘Belong’ is a Henchman production written and directed by Fred O’Connor and Daithí McMahon. The drama was produced by Daithí McMahon and Aisling O’Connor and recorded at Tinpot Productions with sound by Sean Byrne. The role of Christy was played Morgan C. Jones with performances by Karen Scully, Ken Fletcher, Aoibheann McCann, Laura Kelly, Caroline Power and Fiach Kunz. Selected musical pieces by Kevin MacLeod.
Citation'Belong' (2020) Newstalk106-108FM, 26 July, 07:00.
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