I was contacted this morning by someone who is going to be taking the role of a female prisoner in a play going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She was asking for advice and we had a good discussion which I imagine will be ongoing. Her questions made me revisit some of the work I've done over the last 8 years of devising and delivering arts development projects into prisons, working with prisoners and their families; The Durham Mystery Plays happened in 2010 and we, when I was Director of Durham City Arts told the organisers that to truly engage all the communities of Durham they needed to work with our prison communities. DCA managed this element of the project. Sadly, it now strikes me that as DCA no longer exists perhaps no one is sharing this valuable work anymore (along with other amazing work we did)…. So I'm sharing it here. The male and female prisoners both worked on the same story 'Jonah and the Whale', with the same artists – the fantastic Sheryl Jenkins and Richard Walker-Hardwick during same weeks, but their interpretations couldn't be more different – perhaps an insight into the issues facing male and female prisoners and how they choose (or perhaps don't) to respond to them…. Here's the film by HMP YOI Low Newton and I'll post HMP Frankland's film link in the comments…. I hope you take time to watch them – Ally xxxx


Jonah & the Whale by HMP & YOI Low Newton

An animated interpretation of Jonah and the Whale produced as part of Durham Mysteries 2010 – http://durhammysteries.co.uk/ This film was produced by a group from…