For the Crowded House is presenting again, at the 4th National Hoarding and Squalor Conference

Here’s a summary what will be discussed.


The practitioner and the artist.

Theatre guru Sandra Fiona Long started a dialogue with hoarding practitioner, trainer and author Tania Reid from For the Crowded House in 2014. They meet in a café and discussed the ethics, myths and hopes for all involved affected by hoarding. Believed to be the first Australian production about hoarding, ‘Birdcage Thursdays’ was performed in November 2015 at Melbourne’s the Big West Festival, to sell-out crowds. Set to a physical rhythm of telephone calls, bird calls, lawn balls and agitated sinuses, the set was “ a simple but touching set of cardboard boxes piled on top of each other. The boxes move with the story, at times shielding or blocking the performers from parts of the audience. It is a lovely work with a purpose” ( December 2, 2015, Galvin).Using recorded scenes from the play, this paper will discuss how the community theatre opens a window into the silent struggles that families and workers face when confronted with hoarding behaviours, eviction notices and reluctant clients. Spitzkowsky wrote “It is working relationships like this that will ensure that theatre continues to evolve as a means of creating awareness and facilitating concrete social change” (  30th November 2015).

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