What do you do if your benefit is cut, your housing is withdrawn, you are denied access to your children, you can't afford a solicitor and you don't understand how the legal system works?
Criminals and poor people don't pay, and the government, as today, balked at throwing more money at a legal aid system whose demands seemed to grow bigger every year.
Fast forward to today, and the situation is much worse - so bad in fact that even barristers are going on strike, refusing to take on cases where they are often unable to afford even the cost of travel to represent a legally aid case. Few of us like to lose money on a day's work. Of course, sympathy for fat cat lawyers isn't high on the public's list of concerns, but publicly funded legal aid work is a far cry from the bespoke and well-paid world of corporate clients.
The Invisible takes its name from the invisibility of the characters within it - individuals struggling to get heard or even noticed by a system whose funding is under continual threat.
The play is not without problems. Some of the dialogue is clunky - though at other times arrestingly good - suggesting more than one hand at work.
Three of the actors play more than one part, and this was confusing at times - which character is this? Is this the same person we just met in the last scene, in a new dress, or is this someone new? But maybe I just need better spectacles.
What Invisible is not is light entertainment. Apart from a few genuinely funny scenes (a scene in which a character recalls his first encounter with a Fiesta magazine in a school playground made me laugh out loud), the overall tone is one of righteous indignation. Which, I suppose, is not surprising from a play that was partly sponsored by the Legal Action Group, a charity which "promotes equal access to justice for all members of society".
Whatever your view on government cuts, this is a play on a serious subject whose voice deserves to be heard.
The Invisible is playing at the Bush Theatre until 15 August.
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