Prisons and Young Offender Units

In workshops in YOI units and prisons we hope to help participants to affect social change and personal transformation through creative engagement.

At the beginning of 2019, we engaged with womeninprison.org.uk in #Woking who runs weekly drop in sessions for former prisoners. We worked with some of the women to create a performance piece for #InternationalWomensDay on March 8th. We wanted to give each participant the opportunity to tell her story as part of a project called 'All that Glitters is not Gold - but it's my time to shine - How do we know who we are?'  The show was remarkable and the reaction from the audience to the stories, incredible - please see comments on the pdf below.  

Our next involvement will be a short performance for New Beginnings Arts Awards day on September 10th at 18.30 at #TheLightbox in #Woking https://www.thelightbox.org.uk/womens-support-centre-new-beginnings-art-awards-2019 The theme of the piece is Journey Within - 5 words that best represent your journey or a journey you've taken. Several women will take part in the event. Stella Kanu, Executive Director of LIFT will be Guest Speaker.

Professor Charlotte Scott ( head of Shakespeare at #Goldsmiths) and Mary Chater are taking a programme of ACE funded work into HMP Styal in Cheshire and the Venus Centre in Bootle, Liverpool in the late summer / early autumn that mirrors the type of work done this spring at the #Wokingwomen'ssupportcentre. 

#AMidsummerNightsDream Mashup was performed by women prisoners on Friday August 30th in the gym - the performers were amazing and tenacious in the face of a rowdy audience and Eddie Tarry, a warder joined in the show as a Fairy. We spent two weeks rehearsing and making the props and back drop - the play was set in Ancoats woods near #Manchester.

The feedback has been universally positive -

 I loved doing the drama group and I feel loads more confident in myself. When I signed up for the drama group, I expected to just do the scenery and help with costumes as I’m quite arty. A couple of people couldn’t come so I found myself landing a couple of parts. I loved getting into character and playing the parts that I didn’t expect to. This was something I had never imagined myself doing. I really thought I couldn’t do it so it was amazing to find that I could. As a direct result of this, I am being considered for ROTLs ( Release on Temporary Licence ) when I become eligible. I also have an opportunity to train and gain employment on release. This is totally unexpected and something that I would have never got without being part of this group. It has opened doors for me that would never previously have been opened and given me the potential for a totally different future. Thank you both!

Prison staff Anastacia Selby and Eddie Tarry

Click here for audience feedback