A SPOKEN word show that uses performance and journalism to highlight the impact of domestic abuse is heading to Carlisle for one night only next week.

Refuge Woman, a play written and performed by Cash Carraway and inspired by real life events, will be staged on Sunday, August 2 as part of the Carlisle Fringe Festival.

Described as powerful and 'darkly funny', it will explore the reality of domestic violence on a young woman as she reflects on her life as a 'refuge connoisseur'.

But the evening will also offer the audience a unique opportunity to step behind the scenes of an investigation that last year exposed the full picture of funding for domestic violence support in Cumbria.

Award-winning journalist Maeve McClenaghan from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and Caroline Barber from the News and Star - who collaborated on the project - will be joined by experts in a discussion about the in depth story and its findings.

The evening has already been a success in venues across the country including Birmingham, Leeds, Lancaster and Bristol.

Maeve McClenaghan, who has produced the tour, said: "This is an exciting and ambitious way to bring these vital, important stories by local journalists to new audiences across the country, sparking debate along the way.

"Refuge Woman is a powerful and moving piece of theatre which will be the perfect introduction to a deeper conversation about how and why refuge provision varies across the country.”

Cash Carraway added: “I really wanted to write a piece of theatre that provides a realistic snapshot of what life is like for women fleeing domestic violence in modern Britain.”

The investigation published in the News and Star and its sister newspaper The Mail found domestic violence was the fastest growing crime in Cumbria, accounting for 13 per cent of all crimes investigated by police last year.

However, funding to provide refuges for those escaping violence and controlling behaviour had stagnated over the last decade.

Refuge Woman - what is it about?

This one woman play was written by Cash Carraway and inspired by real life events.

It tells the tale of Cash's life in 13 women’s refuges in the UK.

Now a self confessed refuge connoisseur, she knows the refuges with the best counsellors, clothing donations and the ones closest to the heartiest of ‘all you can eat’ buffets.

Now she’s just set foot in what she has decided is her final refuge. It’s run by a woman with a Farage tattoo and is located opposite the Bernard Matthews factory – it isn’t exactly how she imagined escaping from abuse, but now she has a young daughter to consider she’s out of options...

How to get tickets

Refuge Woman will be staged in the Festival Village on Sunday, September 2 at 7pm as part of the Carlisle Fringe Festival.

Tickets cost £8.50 and are available via the festival website at www.carlislefringe.co.uk