Tighten Our Belts is an honest, brave and tender show.

Expect singing and dancing. Expect characters so real you could be sat next to them on the bus to Churchill Square.

‘Tighten Our Belts is a powerful show. The rawness of the performances is exciting to watch. The subject matter, gutsy songs and pacey narrative makes for an important night in the theatre. The stories will resonate with the majority of people living in the UK today and I have no doubt that this show will bring new people to the theatre.’

Louise Blackwell, Co-Director, Fuel

Tighten Our Belts is our first show. It’s about the cost of austerity for people living in the UK today. In November 2016 we performed it twice to two sold-out crowds, who gave standing ovations at the Brighton Dome Studio. We got a lovely 4* review from the Argus that we’re pretty happy about. We distributed tickets using a Pay What You Decide model of ticketing and took £2,200 on the door.


The creation of the show was funded by the Arts Council and the Unity Theatre Trust. It was also seeded by Greenhouse.

We’ve been working on this show since September 2015. We co-created it with a group of non-professional performers through our partnership with the Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project (BUCFP).  The Brighton Dome also partnered us for this project, providing rehearsal space and technical support. You can read a super quick overview of the show’s journey here.

‘Tighten Our Belts is an important and accessible performance that takes in the personal stories and experiences of those most affected by the economic downturn and austerity. I’ve not seen a more relatable and personable performance about these issues, which ultimately affect us all. I highly recommend it.’

Jason Price, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Theatre and Performance, University of Sussex

The audience feedback has been incredibly positive and many people were too choked with emotion to speak during the post show discussion at our first sharing. Here is a selection of quotes from our audience feedback forms:

“An outpouring of humanity.”

“The most powerful drama I have seen in years. Emotionally hard, tears in my eyes, because this subject is so relevant.”

“Moving – enraging – inspiring.”

“Original, brilliant, quite different from any other theatrical performance that I’ve seen.”

“Powerful, moving, authentic piece of quality theatre.”

“It’s blown me away. I didn’t know how bad it has got. Everyone needs to see this.”

“A powerful, personal and important piece of theatre.”

“The first rendition of ‘Tighten Our Belts’ had part of me thinking. “Oh yeah, they all want handouts…” I looked back at that thought 20 minutes later and remembered it in shame. Thanks so much.”

In 2017 Tighten Our Belts was programmed by Brighton Festival and was performed as part of the Your Place weekends.