Cardboard Citizens was conceived in 1991, and since 1994 has been a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. For the first few years of its existence it toured devised Forum Theatre pieces to hostels and day centres, in London and throughout the country, sometimes producing two tours a year. From the very beginning, the vast majority of its performers have been drawn from homeless people, and by 1998 these performers were paid a wage in parity with the ITC/Equity contract. The parameters of the work broadened, first to include touring Forum Theatre to secondary schools, mainly in London, and then to embrace biennial site-specific (non-Forum) theatre productions. Aimed at a general theatre-going public, including the company’s core homeless audience, these latter productions have often been mounted in collaboration with others arts organisations and have usually dealt with subject matters linked to social exclusion. Productions in this category have included versions of The Lower Depths, The Beggar’s Opera, Mincemeat, Pericles and Timon of Athens. As well as broadening the profile of the company and satisfying the ambitions of the artists working for Cardboard Citizens, these projects have also brought the company-trained homeless actors into contact with other professionals, skills and disciplines. The most enduring of the partnerships involved in these productions has been the ongoing relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company, with whom Cardboard Citizens has made three major pieces of work to date.