A SOLD-out theatre performance about a family’s decline into homelessness is a big hit.

St Helens Central Library hosted the sell-out production of Cathy, as part of the Cultural Hubs – Arts in Libraries programme.

The play is inspired by the landmark television play Cathy Come Home written by Jeremy Sandford and directed by Ken Loach, first aired on BBC in 1966.

The film broached issues that were not then widely discussed in the popular media, such as homelessness, unemployment and the rights of mothers to keep their children.

Cathy was brought to Central Library by inclusive theatre group Cardboard Citizens, which has been making life-changing theatre with and for homeless people for 25 years, often in unique venues like libraries, prisons and hostels.

The play was researched with the support of housing and homelessness charity Shelter and the performance ended with an interactive debate where audience members can have their say and change the outcome of the story.

Audience members were encouraged to suggest how different courses of action might affect the outcome narrative and to suggest laws which might improve the situations the characters’ experiences.

Councillor Richard McCauley, cabinet member for change was among those who took part.

He said: “It was really interesting for the audience to be able to get involved in the performance and try to improve the outcome.

“The play highlighted how easy it is to find yourself homeless in today’s broken housing market, and the plight of those that do, with a story that is just as relevant and moving as it was in 1966.”

Event-goers also donated dozens of items to St Helens Foodbank, helping residents in crisis.