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Page last updated at 20:15 GMT, Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Homelessness in Gatwick Airport inspires new play
Doug Devaney
Doug Devaney said he used his friend's story as a 'jumping off point'

A play inspired by a homeless man who lived in Gatwick Airport for three years is due to be performed in Brighton.

Anthony Delaney was given an Asbo for sleeping rough at the airport after losing his job and home.

His childhood friend, Doug Devaney, who is the director of a theatre company, used his story as the inspiration for a play.

In preparation his cast also spent days living in the airport's terminals.

Mr Devaney, from the Chronicle Theatre, said his friend worked as a chef until five years ago when he lost his job.

"A domino effect took place which resulted in him going across to Gatwick to try and find work," he said.

"But he used up his funds and ended up living and sleeping on the floors of the various terminals - after all they're drier and warmer than some of the other options."

According to Mr Devaney, up to 40 to 50 people live rough in the airport over the course of a year.

He said he and his cast slept there for a few days each.

"It was enough to get a sense of what it was like to live within these circumstances," he said.

Plane taking off at Gatwick
It is estimated there are between 40 and 50 people living rough in Gatwick

"The strip lighting is constant, there's a constant noise and buzz about the place.

"Sleep deprivation and the ability to get an hours sleep every now and then is really the essence of surviving."

Mr Devaney said his friends story was a "jumping off point" for the play, which also explores the seedier side of life within the airport, including it being used by people traffickers.

The play, No Particular Place To Go, will be performed in The Lectern, Lewes Road, Brighton, between 30 March and 2 April.

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