We are currently developing a new project exploring the first same-sex marriage in a UK prison, which took place in 2015. This case is the inspiration for a new production, which will be a promenade performance taking place in decommissioned prisons. The production will include one-on-one moments alongside collective experiences.
The project is collaboration with playwright James Baldwin, who creates extraordinary new theatre with communities and has extensive experience working on creative projects within prison settings. Over the summer of 2019 we will be exploring the artistic development of this project, working with ex-offenders with the support of Synergy Theatre and visiting decommissioned prisons around the country. We're delighted to be supported by York Theatre Royal's IGNITE Artist Development Programme for this period of exploration.
Andy Watson, Artistic Director of Geese Theatre mentored the 2018 R&D period, which included visiting prisons and speaking with staff, interviewing forensic phycologists and journalists and beginning a dialogue with LGBT+ prisoners. This R&D was commissioned by South Street and University of Reading’s Film, Theatre & Television Department. We created conversations and workshop with LGBT+ societies and support groups, and hosted an incredibly vibrant symposium on Sexuality in Theatre. Panellists included Chris Goode, Lucy J.Skilbeck and Travis Alabanza.
As we move forward with the project, we will be collaborating with Nicola Carr at Univesrity of Nottingham and Ian Feis-Bryce at Royal Holloway on an academic research project investigating LGBTQ+ experiences in UK prisons. All of these elements are currently in development and we’ll have more information soon.
Decommissioned Prison Project is supported by South Street Reading, University of Reading & York Theatre Royal. The project is funded by a Project Grant from Arts Council England.
2019 R&D supported by IGNITE - York Theatre Royal and funded by Arts Council England.
2018 R&D seed funded by South Street & University of Reading’s Film, Theatre & Television Dept and funded by Arts Council England.