Prison Dialogues at the Brighton Fringe

Award-winning writer/theatre maker Mark Hewitt is returning to Brighton Fringe after eight years with a new play inspired by his work in UK prisons.

Prison Dialogues © Sara Roque Peres
Prison Dialogues © Sara Roque Peres

“It’s surreal, sweary and fun!” says spokeswoman Rowena Price.

It runs at Kemptown’s Lantern Theatre from Friday, May 28 until Thursday, June 3.

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“Prison Dialogues features two men and three women in a series of interweaving dialogues, bantering their way through a playful exploration of life’s existential questions.

“The play is inspired by observations, overhearings and interactions from the Penned Up prison literature festivals (2015-2020), co-directed by David Kendall and Mark Hewitt who were named one of The Big Issue’s Top 100 Changemakers in 2020.

“Work with prisoners from Erlestoke men’s prison in Wiltshire and Downview women’s prison in Sutton was integral to the conception of the play and the writing process. The emerging work was nurtured through rehearsed readings at Lewes Live Literature’s Work in Progress events during 2019 where audiences connected with its off-the-wall, spiky humour.”

Director Mark Hewitt said: “I guess I’m moved by the quirky resilience of men and women who are serving time, often locked up for many hours a day and facing relentless boredom, mental health problems and (poor) food for the foreseeable days, weeks, months and years.”

Prison Dialogues is performed by Leann O’Kasi, Sarah J Lewis, Araba Jane, Connor Mills and Sonny Jaiteh. Written and directed by Mark.