The Belgrade Theatre partners with Central England Law Centre (CELC) to offer free advice and support to people who are being impacted by the themes and issues explored in I, Daniel Blake. Donations for Coventry Foodbank will also be collected.

I, Daniel Blake, the critically acclaimed stage premiere of Ken Loach’s multi-award-winning 2016 film centring around social disadvantage, homelessness, and the perils of the benefits system, made all the more relevant by the current cost of living crisis, will come to our B2 stage from 8–11 Nov. During the run, we will partner with Central England Law Centre (CELC) – a community law centre which provides free specialist legal advice to people in Coventry and Birmingham, to offer advice and support to residents who are being impacted by the themes and issues explored in the show.

Every day of the run, there will be specialist support staff and caseworkers from CELC available to provide support on issues ranging from welfare-benefits and employment; to housing, immigration, and community care law and general cost of living help in Coventry. The team from CELC will be located in the 1st floor Burbidge Foyer on Wed 8 Nov 1.30pm – 4pm and Thurs 9 Nov 3 – 5pm, and Fri 10 Nov 11am – 2pm. No appointments will be necessary, the advice and support provided is free, and free tea and coffee will be provided.

Following the Friday evening performance on 10 Nov, there will be a post-show Q&A with cast, creatives, and representatives from both The Trussell Trust and Central England Law Centre. The event will be chaired by Beth Fiducia-Brookes, the Artistic Director of Underground Lights (a former Belgrade Springboard company run by and for adults experiencing social disadvantage, homelessness and/or mental health issues in Coventry, Warwickshire and the surrounding area).

There will also be donation points for the Coventry Foodbank at the theatre, which patrons will be encouraged to donate to.

A food donation point will be located in our foyer between Wed, 8 Nov and Mon, 13 Nov. We are asking for the following (long dated) items to be donated:

  • Tinned Meat
  • Tinned Fish
  • Jam
  • Fruit Juice or Squash
  • Vegetarian options
  • Condiments

Emma Bates, Director of Positive Action on Poverty, Central England Law Centre, said: “Sadly, the themes and issues that Loach explored in his 2016 film have not gone away, they have worsened. Every day, the Law Centre supports residents of Coventry who are struggling with the cost of living, who are being forced to rely on foodbanks and social supermarkets; who are falling further behind with rent and bills; and, just like the character in the play, an alarming number are being subject to unfair decisions by the DWP.

We not only provide people with early legal help so they are better able to understand their rights and challenge unfair decisions; we also work in partnership with other organisations to change unfair systems and policies to make our country a fairer and more just place for all the real-life Daniel Blakes.”

Neil Murray, Interim CEO of Belgrade Theatre, said: “We are delighted to have this brilliant production of I, Daniel Blake, here at the Belgrade. The opportunity to partner with CELC to try and address some of the real-life issues, echoing the story of the play, that many people in Coventry currently face is one we very much welcome.”

I, Daniel Blake runs on our B2 stage from Weds 8 – Sat 11 Nov, tickets from £10 – Book Now.