Fleecehold, a 'rollicking juggernaut of a show', charts the journey of three extraordinary women from the north west who have fought to abolish leasehold over the last eight years after being mis-sold their homes using the Government's Help To Buy scheme.

Katie, a nurse, is furious the freehold to her own home has been sold by the developer onto a viscount who owns 200,000 freeholds and now wants her to pay thousands of pounds for it. Despite being mute as a child and badly bullied because of a bad stammer, Katie decides she must speak out.

She is soon joined by fellow leaseholders Cath Williams and Jo Darbyshire who take inspiration from leasehold campaigners Sebastian O'Kelly, Louie Burns and the ghost of 19th century leasehold reformer MP Henry Broadhurst. Meanwhile, the ghosts of greedy landowners and aristocrats hinder and pour scorn on their attempts at reform alongside modern day freeholders and developers.

It includes Select Committee inquiry evidence to document the leasehold reformers' journey up to helping draft the Leasehold And Freehold Reform Bill 2023, making its way through Parliament despite being watered down due to lobbying.

Fleecehold stars local actors Lucille Ferguson, Sasha Ravencroft and Debbie Christie and supporting actors James Holmes, Alex Halsall and Tristan Pretty.

Writer Michele Sheldon wrote the play out of frustration of being a leaseholder and as a tribute to all the reformers including Louie Burns, who died in 2020, as well as to all leaseholders trapped in their houses and flats. Michele said:

“Every day we hear stories in the news of how this feudal system brings mental health and financial misery and ruin to leaseholders. Freeholders and their managing agents treat an estimated five million leaseholders living in flats, shared ownership, retirement housing, housing estates and those trapped in the cladding scandal as cash cows. The sheer numbers of people suffering in England and Wales shows leasehold isn't fit for purpose and must be replaced with commonhold in line with every other country in the world."

Fleecehold sold out its three nights at the Camden Fringe in 2023 at The Little Angel Theatre, with audiences and reviewers describing it as:

"Informative, enjoyable and funny"

"A great satirical play covering so many aspects of the dysfunctional leasehold system."

"A wonderful play highlighting the appalling situation many leaseholders find themselves in.'

"Hard hitting in an entertaining way. The message came across in a direct and shocking way. No-one could argue with the ugly truth."

"Sheldon’s script helps to shine a light on a shocking and important issue with an informatively rousing script that not only educates, but entertains and engages with the unbelievable leasehold reality that many people across England and Wales are struggling with."

"Fleecehold is what theatre is for."

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Bright pink poster for Fleecehold, with the Folkestone Live logo, testimonials, writing credit, date, time, location and teaser
Fleecehold protest banner and video with Sasha Ravencroft and Lucille Ferguson
Lucy is Hythe born and bred. She trained at the Atlantic acting school in New York, where she also performed as Nora in A Doll’s House, Christine in Dear Julie and the Duchess in Mercury Fur, among others. She has toured Spain with various companies, where she also lived for several years. Other…
Sasha has been involved in the arts for many years as a writer, actor, puppeteer and producer of a puppetry TIE company called Bluewolf Theatre. Rude Raven Productions, a company set up by Ravencroft ,took her play A Simple Tale Of Love to the Camden Fringe festival and London Horror Festival…
Debbie is delighted to be part of the new Folkestone Live festival and hopes that it will be the first of many successful fringes to come. She was part of the original cast of To Have and To Hold over 20 years ago (but playing the younger part of Susan then). Her most recent theatre credits include…
Run by Michele Sheldon.