Following an acclaimed run at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe, Kate Craddock brings her one-woman show Hand-me-Down to London’s Tristan Bates Theatre from 16 June (previews from 14 June) to 2 July 2011. The intimate and funny tale unfolds stories from the everyday objects and unwanted clothing of a second hand shop, asking what it means to be charitable in today’s world of instant gratification.

Here, Craddock gives us her five reasons why you should see her series of extraordinary characters.


1. Because it is nostalgic - especially if you grew up on hand me down clothes

When I was a kid I never seemed to have anything new; the clothes I wore and the toys I played with had always been owned by someone else - mostly my older sister! That's probably what sparked my interest in charity shops - and why one of my characters in Hand-me-Down is a Scottish girl, growing up in second hand clothing that never fits.

2. It will make you laugh - especially if you have ever bought a charity record or thought that Bob Geldof was going to save the world

The first ever record I owned was the Band Aid single "Feed the World". My parents bought it for me for Christmas because I'd saved up my pocket money so that I could donate it all to Ethiopia. This must have had a very lasting impression on me, as this story features as part of the show - and you can sing along to the song during the show.

3. It will make you look at objects in a whole new way

Hand-me-Down is really visual and the set is filled entirely with objects that I bought in second hand shops. Although it is a one woman show, I play a lot of different characters, many of whom have been inspired by the objects and stories I uncovered while making the piece.

4. It will make you think about why you give (or don't give) to charity

Hand-me-Down asks questions about what it means to be charitable, which feels especially important today with all the talk of the Big Society. It also looks at the relationship between the media and charity, and that will give you a really good giggle!

5. You can win a raffle

On arrival, the audience are given raffle tickets - but you'll have to come and see the show to find out what you might win!


Hand-me-Down opens at the Tristan Bates Theatre on 16 June (previews from 14 June) where it continues until 2 July 2011.