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Review: Back to Hackney, at Park Theatre

31 May, 2019 — By Angela Cobbinah

Teresa Zaylor (left) and Lucy Christy in a scene from Back to Hackney

SINGLE mum Georgia’s life is changed forever when she becomes paralysed from the neck down following a freak accident. As she recovers in a spinal injury ward facing life in a wheelchair, her council tells her that, rather than making it possible for her to live in her flat, they plan to send her into a care home. Declaring that “a warehouse ain’t my home”, she flatly refuses to leave the hospital.

Based on a true story, Panayiota Panteli’s heart-warming drama is a bulletin from the front line of adult social care, where swingeing cuts have made it cheaper for councils to dump people into care homes than pay for 24/7 carers and disabled adaptations.

It is also the story of a woman’s struggle to accept that her catastrophic injuries mean nothing will ever be the same again, even the act of lifting a spoon to her mouth.

But she finds humanity in the form of kindly nurse Clara (Lucy Christie) and lively cleaner Vasilis (Panos Savvides), while her two grown-up daughters, Alexandra (Anna Antoniades) and Sophia (Kathryn Perkins), eventually unite to fight on her behalf.

Although some of the tension gets lost midway, this is an important reminder of how the sick and disabled have borne the brunt of austerity. The five-strong ensemble give sterling perfor­mances, not least Teresa Zaylor, who has MS, in the lead role.

Until June 1
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