In October 2011, Playing ON visited Ranby prison to deliver an intensive three-week drama programme looking at family and its impact on the lives of the prisoners.  The prison group watched the full-length version of the play INSIDE which was filmed at the Roundhouse studio before discussing what the programme would involve and what would be required to participate.

“Thanks for your support and guidance, you are up there with the best that have visited Ranby.  The guys had some really good things to say about you in the post-performance afternoon session.” – John Parkinson, HMP Ranby

We started by sharing personal stories from which the group created fictional characters to explore real life dilemmas relating to the family.  From these situations, we developed dramatic scenarios to make a piece. 

An unexpected outcome occurred during the final rehearsals when one prisoner with no previous experience showed a flair for dramaturgical structure and ended up leading the devising and directing of a scene.

Following the final performance, several prisoners from the induction wing said that they wanted to sign up for education and were keen to do drama.

This was the first time that the education staff at Ranby had attached accreditation to one of the art courses delivered by a visiting company. The team worked together to evidence the prisoners work using video and creating space for reflective conversations during and at the end of each day.