Free Lunch with the StenchWench

Dates and Times

Thu 26 - Fri 27 April at 9pm

See all upcoming performances

Ticket information

£12/10 (conc.)

Book Tickets

Part of Common People: the working class theatre festival. Browse the full programme here. Take advantage of our double bill ticket offer, and book two different shows on the same night for just £16! Simply add the tickets into your basket and we’ll do the rest. Common People runs from Tue 17 – Sat 28 April.

Presented by Catherine Hoffman

A humiliating scrap with growing up skint in flat broke Britain: Free Lunch with the StenchWench is a rallying cry for times of brutal cuts and disparity, a solo account of shame and poverty from a personal perspective.

Charting the drive for survival and fitting in, the StenchWench shares stories of an itinerant life with seven siblings in the 70s and 80s whilst precariously existing in Austerity Britain today. Cheap clothes, fleas, cold baths, and crap jobs are unleashed as she natters and sings about how to get by, attempts to overcome the shame of ‘lack’ and celebrates our spirit of community and resistance.

Expect a one-woman flea circus with faded glory, austerity pants, drop scones and hot chocolate.

Read The Guardian‘s feature interview about the show here.

‘Where are the voices exploring working-class experiences?’ Check out Catherine’s Exeunt article here

“‘I cover myself in chocolate and wrestle rats – it’s about class.’ Read The Stage’s interview with Catherine Hoffmann here

Developed with support from Arts Council England, Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter and Stanley Halls, London.



“A cross between performance art, stand-up, a gig and a call to arms. A humorous and truly compelling performance.” – Desperate Optimists

“Catherine Hoffmann’s StenchWench is a labour of love and hits a home run for the proletariat! If you like your shows raw, real and dipping with beauty, go see this one. It will not disappoint.” – Stacy Makishi

“At once funny, touching and full of sadness. StenchWench focuses on a harsh hidden upbringing in the UK, marked out by class and abject poverty. Cath takes us on a journey through some very personal experiences in her childhood struggle for survival and the lengths society makes us go to appear ‘normal’.” – Gill Lloyd, Co-Director, Artsadmin

About the company

Catherine explores the intersection between performance, absurdity and music in solo and collaborative projects. They create a mixture of interactive one-to-one performances as well as staged pieces. Catherine has shown work in Copenhagen, Berlin, Leipzig, Athens, The National Portrait Gallery, Latitude, Southbank Centre, Spill, Bristol Museum, Buzzcut, BAC, Steakhouse Live and Domestic II Festival, Manchester. Catherine collaborates with Florence Peake and performs internationally with Lundahl and Seitl.

@cathHoffmann | #StenchWench | #CommonPeople |

Image credit (c) General life/ Lesley Ewen

Upcoming Performances