From October to December 2021 Cardboard Citizens collaborated with our partner The Outside Project to deliver weekly theatre workshops in their LGBTIQ+ community centre.  

Theatre maker and facilitator Emily Aboud delivered eight workshops for an intergenerational group of 15 interested in developing their creativity and performance skills. The group covered a lot of ground over the two months including developing their spontaneous writing skills and devising their own mini pantomimes. (Lots of pizza was consumed too!)  

"My experience at Outside The Box overall has been amazing. I’ve gotten the chance to connect with new people, learn from a little to a lot about these people, play great games with them, create fantastic memories with them I’ll never forget, also share ideas, work as groups and together in order to perform an amazing panto together which we all enjoyed."

Gideon, Outside The Box participant

Below is a selection of creative writing produced by the group over the two months. We hope you enjoy watching and reading…


My Favourite Possession

My breath

Short – shallow – sharp


My steps

Long – deep – soft


My promise

Timeless – strong – unconditional


My favourite possession

Is a pair of boots


That I call my Frankies

Ode to Frankenstein

I bought them in Brick Lane

Well, before it was TRENDY.

Old cougars

Would sit with a mat

On the mat would be a few prized possessions. READY TO GO

Rolled up fags

A matchbox toy often with something missing

Then my coveted possession

A pair of workmen’s boots


Any good look I had was attributed to my Frankies.

My Frankies took me places.

Around the world.

My protection.

All the armour I needed.

Recently I put them out for retire

But they won’t have it

They’re not ready to be laid to rest


Say there’s life in the old dog yet.

My favourite possession is my winter coat.

It is black and suede with fluffy neck and cuffs.

It is warm and also looks nice.

Sometimes I wear it indoors so that I don’t have to put the heating on.

If it outlives me they can cremate me with it on!

My favourite possession is my “winter feels trans” hat and… I remember that I got it from an

“urban shop” thinking about “how cool!” while looking at all the accessories and I was picturing in my mind the idea of a cool guy and I was meant to give all of them to my brother for

Christmas a few years ago. At the end, I felt the need to keep it with me, to be that cool guy.

Since viewing all the accessories from then, it’s been a journey.


What Christmas means to me  

Winter is my favourite season. I love the cold, the pale blue and pink mornings with the mist descending over the city. The condensation rising from the Thames. I love the glitter of the ice on the buildings, cars and the pouring slush. I love to look out from a warm room onto the cold exterior. I also love to be out in it, especially on a clear day. But I don’t like Christmas, why should I? I am atheist.

I think Christmas is a state of mind. But I don’t like this time of year. I don’t like being forced to think about time. I don’t like the feeling of everyone having fun around me. When I see the decorations go up and down, I think of what has changed and what hasn’t changed but nothing has changed. It is just a day of the year. This is what I have to remind myself.

Definitely December is not my favourite month, because all the consumerism madness. We buy stupid things that we don’t need. Also, it is a cold month and dark so you have to switch your winter survival mode, and finally all plants died and flowers disappear. Anyway, I try enjoying this season as much as I can. In this month I like visiting a cemetery or having a winter walk in the country.

I like those cold, crisp, sunny winter days. All wrapped up with my woolly hat and scarf, my toes just starting to feel the chill. And when I breathe, I love seeing the frost in the air. So fleeting but I can almost grab hold of it. And my leather gloves keeping my fingers nice and toasty. And then when it snows, I sit indoors looking out the window, drawing faces on the glass, only to see them disappear in an instant. Watching the flashes of snow build up on the road and then turn into slush - but I don’t have anywhere to be so I don’t need to worry about that – sitting indoors with my woolly hat and scarf trying to keep warm, remembering when I was a young child and saw that snow for the very first time.