‘I, Daniel Blake, am a citizen, nothing more, nothing less.’
Dan is a carpenter. A Geordie through and through. He had a heart attack recently, but he’s on the mend now.
Katie has just arrived from London. She’s finally got a council flat, somewhere for her and her daughter, Daisy. A fresh start.
In adversity, people come together. But when the system is stacked against you, how does anyone get by? With 14.5 million people (Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2022 Poverty Report) living in poverty in the UK, this is not fiction. It is reality.
I, Daniel Blake was originally a film – directed by Ken Loach, written by Paul Laverty and produced by Rebecca O’Brien for Sixteen Films – which won the 2016 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. This touching and vital stage adaptation by Dave Johns, who played Dan in the film, toured the UK in 2023, co-produced by tiny dragon Productions, Northern Stage, Birmingham Rep and ETT, in association with Cardboard Citizens.
‘A gut-wrenching tragicomic drama… Paul Laverty’s brilliantly insightful script finds much that is moving (and often surprisingly funny) in the unbreakable social bonds of so-called “broken Britain”.’ Guardian on Ken Loach’s film
‘A powerful adaptation of the Ken Loach film that feels more relevant than ever… Skilfully adapted by Dave Johns, the play requires no knowledge of the film to enjoy it, standing on its own as a powerful testament… plenty of warmth and humour… humour that distils rather than dilutes the essential fury at the play’s core – an angry, defiant howl of protest’
— The Stage
‘Intensely focused… a tangible thread of cold anger runs through it… the play can be said to “out-Loach” Loach in its efforts to speak truth to power’
‘Refuses to let Britain’s leaders off the hook… a moving plea for compassion’
‘A straightforward, quietly stirring adaptation’
— The Times