Cardboard Citizens was founded in 1991 by Adrian Jackson in the spaces around the Bullring in London’s Waterloo. Adrian had been working with London Bubble theatre company, and decided to work alongside people experiencing street homelessness to create Forum Theatre pieces. These plays would then tour to hostels, day centres and other non-theatre spaces.

Cardboard Citizens became an independent company in 1995, and continued its mission of creative theatre projects with and for people experiencing homelessness.

In 2021, Chris Sonnex was appointed as the new Artistic Director of Cardboard Citizens, and is Joint CEO with Executive Director Lisa Briscoe. The company broadened its scope to work with and for people who have experienced homelessness, poverty or inequity. Read our manifesto »

The company welcomes anyone with experience of homelessness, poverty or inequity to become a Member of Cardboard Citizens. This programme gives people access to our Information, Advice and Guidance services, as well as access to our creative training courses.

In recent years, the company has worked with artists like Kae Tempest, Ali Taylor, Arun Ghosh, Eska, and Danusia Samal. We have collaborated with other arts organisations and theatres, including Coventry City of Culture, Belgrade Theatre, Royal Exchange, the Royal Shakespeare Company and English National Opera. We have produced work at the Edinburgh Fringe, Soho Theatre and the Barbican.