Monday, 8 November 2010



The Home Office has vetoed the performance of an acclaimed drama due to be performed in Rochester Prison.

The play, called "Inside" is about the problems of young fathers in prison and was to be performed in Rochester Prison on Wednesday 10th November.

But now the theatre company producing the play has been told that the Home Office has vetoed the performance because they claim, in these times of austerity and cuts, it's not appropriate to let prisoners watch drama.

This is in spite of the fact that the head of education at the prison and the Governor were in favour of the performance -- and the prison wasn't even going to have to pay for it.
The theatre company, Playing On, works with young people in prison to provide professional development for them as as actors and theatremakers.

The play came out of workshops for young fathers in Rochester Prison put on in 2008.

The performance was to include a question and answer session between the audience and the young cast who would have been able to talk about their paths into education and full-time employment.

The play's writer, Broadstairs-based Philip Osment, said: "What sort of goverment is it, that can admit that prison isn't working but won't allow work to be done with them, which encourages them to address their behaviour and looks at ways of changing?

"Are they just worried about tabloid headlines saying prisons are having it too easy?"

Mr Osment added: "Do they think that banging up young men - many of whom have psychiatric problems - for 23 hours a day in their cells, is going to address recidivism and mean less victims of crime?

"Meanwhile in Doncaster there are prison riots."

The play will be performed at the Roundhouse Theatre in London from Nov 12th - 27th.


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