VISITS R&D

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.