“He was scared shitless every minute he was in there. And he knew. He knew you lot was after him.”
A Finborough Theatre commission, the world premiere of a first play by Playwright on Attachment at the Finborough Theatre, Chris Thompson.
Tommy Anderson was born in a prison, and he died in one too. The last moments of his life are recorded on CCTV, and yet no one can answer the simple question: whose fault was it?
His mother Anne blames Marcus, the guard who was supposed to be looking after him. Marcus, acquitted by the courts but tormented by his part in Tommy's death, wants the family’s social worker to admit to the role she played. And social worker Sue can’t work out when it was she stopped caring.
Piecing together a boy’s life and death in care, Carthage asks who should raise our children when the systems designed to protect them can be as abusive as the situations from which they were rescued.
First time playwright Chris Thompson works as a social worker. Over the last ten years, he has worked with young people in care, young offenders and in child protection, and currently works in young people’s sexual health in the NHS. Writing with honesty and humour, he confronts the big question that has haunted him his entire social work career: “What good did I actually do?”
Carthage is both a personal response to ten years of managing risk and intervening in other people’s lives - sometimes successfully, sometimes not – and an unflinching debut play about guilt, blame and the power of human touch.
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