Sherman Theatre/ Clean Break
Written by Sian Owen
Concept and Director Bridget Keehan
Lighting and AV Andy Pike
Sound Design Tic Ashfield
Visits is a new play based on the experiences of women visiting a female family member/ loved one in prison, and the experiences of imprisoned women from Wales waiting for a visit. Most prison visits are around 1.5 hours long, but the journey to get to the prison may take the visitor several hours or more.
We used the Sherman main stage as the prison visits hall and the back stage area as the waiting room.
The audience was 'processed' into this space, evoking the ways in which families and children are screened as they enter the prison environment. We explored ways of framing the audience as 'prisoner' or 'visitor', ‘prison visit’ or ‘theatre visit’.
Above the stage hung a large framed window with moving projection of landscapes and memories of a life prior to prison. These were interspersed with security footage and a giant digital clock presenting a distorted vision of time in contrast to the real ticking clock in the waiting room.