LSW Prison Project News Page


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The LSW Prison Project undertook 62 projects in 2002 in 37 prisons spanning Sussex to Staffordshire alongside incentives for ex-offenders in London and Manchester. Each and all of these programmes continue in 2003 with a branching out on a national basis with the great assistance of the Sainsbury Family Trusts. 

Theatrical partnerships enjoyed by LSW thus far have included those with The Nottingham Playhouse, The Birmingham Repertory, RSC, Chichester Festival Theatre, The Old Vic, Thelma Holt Productions, Manchester’s Contact Theatre and The Royal Opera House.

pecial 2003 projects include but are not limited to: -


  f A production of Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3, (here entitled
       The Wax King) utilising the talents (inclusively) of inmates, ex-offenders
       and inmates at HMP Pentonville and performed infront of the general
       public and inmates alike.  This programme is generously sponsored by
Arts Council of England, Lon
don Lottery programme;

  f The recording of Shakespeare sonnets and original inmate writing with
    named professionals and produced by inmates at HMP Bullingdon
    thanks to the Arts Council of England, Southeast Lottery programme;

f    A week’s sojourn in Canada (17.10 - 27.10.03) working with the
  Canadian Stratford and Shaw Festivals in Toronto Jail and Stratford
and Niagara Dentention Centres.

f   An active association with Chris Grace and the Animated Shakespeare
  Tales for
prison performances utilising inmates and professionals
commencing with Animated Macbeth at HMP Wandsworth;

f    Encouraging our on-going associations with Oxford and Cambridge
in terms of the ‘VOICES’ programme celebrating new writing
   inside and out
inclusive of the kind support and co-operation of the
  Koestler Arts Trust


Each and all of these are being carried out alongside LSW’s new media arts training programme, ‘Dreaming Will,’ utilising ex-offenders and professionals in the creation of a video series (3 planned in 2003) based on themes inspired by Shakespeare such as would be relevant to contemporary institutional life and distributed free of charge to all UK prison educational centres in juncture with Prisons Video Magazine.  Piloted at Cambridge University, Dreaming Will was joyfully launched at HMP Pentonville on 16.1.03.   The LSW Prison Project seeks to employ the works of Shakespeare and other major dramatic voices/thinkers as a tool towards effective interaction in order to promote confidence through the Will to Dream for all.


We are such stuff as dreams are made on. 


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LSW is Growing

It has, perhaps not surprisingly been a very active time since I last issued an LSW newsletter at the end of last year.  A few of the exciting items in the interim include:-  


I will close out this newsletter with a restricted link to an article by LSW Associate Artist, Anders Lustgarten entitled In the Penal Colony: What Prison Actually Does to Us.  For those who have the time, this is a most illuminating read.  I very much encourage you to take ten minutes to watch Anders paint this extraordinary picture, one generated through enormous skill and experience.

Bless you all for your continuing support of the dream which is LSW.


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Should you be a new reader of these pages and interested in attending one of the LSW Sundays, it is kindly requested that, should you fall under the category of 'professional actor' that you need have the appropriate classical training/experience and interactive skills to fully benefit from the vast joy which is continually returned within the LSW Prison Projects.  Should this be the case, please write to:
Bruce Wall, Chairman, LSW Executive Committee, LSW Prison Project, Post Office Box 31855, London SE17 3XP or send your missive via an e-mail message.  New applicants will be notified, where applicable, of the next available 'New Member' LSW Developmental session.  For the LSW Guest 'Events' established members will be contacted by e-mail ONLY if space available.  As usual, there will always be a mix of established LSW members and newcomers in order to better feed the community service programmes.

Should you be an ex-offender and/or identified as being 'at risk', please feel free to write to the above address, if possible by e-mail.  We shall endeavour to do our best to respond to all correspondence.

Amazing logo.gif (37520 bytes)  A HOME FOR USED VOLUMES OF THE BARD   Amazing logo.gif (37520 bytes)

It broke my heart to know as I did, when after our second session at HMP The Mount the chaps to a man, (here numbering over twenty five including Colin, Mansul and Gavin, now studying at the Guildford School of Acting), ran up to long-standing LSW member Robyn Moore wanting to know which plays they could learn text from, when, in stark reality, only a solitary copy of Macbeth sat on their library self.  These chaps can't run out to their local Waterstones.  This situation, however, was very happily corrected at HMP The Mount on 28th November 2001 and in future sessions.  The offerings of so many LSW members have been presented with labels in each edition stating:  'This volume is a gift of the LSW Prison Project in celebration of the LSW Prison Programmes at HMP The Mount Workout.'  This gift was keenly appreciated by the librarian and the administrative staff, but it is really for the men who give us all so much joy that these volumes will really serve.  Of course, there are many, many more prison libraries - without even the limited funds given to our own public libraries and certainly minus the same opportunities to raise funds for such.  Thus, LSW, in its own small way, hopes to go what distance it can in offering assistance.  It will, I promise, through the active work of our own expanding LSW Prison Project, be a gift which feeds.  If anyone reading this has copies in their possession of Shakespeare or other classical texts which they are no longer using, your donation will, I promise, make a substantial difference. 

Should anyone wish to make comment on any of the above, your comments will be welcomed, as always, on the LSW Postings Page under Waxing On LSW.

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Unless you are new to these pages, you will, of course, know that the LSW: Prison Project has recently turned a corner and has largely come into its own.  It will, of course, as it must, grow.  However we can pause briefly and take a collective breath of pride in the factual knowledge that the fundamental foundations of the LSW: Prison Project's intent have now been clearly established.  There will, of necessity, be new projects; new incentives; but the path towards the ultimate goal, that of promoting confidence through the Will to dream, has been secured.   Of this, I am more proud than of any other LSW achievement thus far (and there have been a great many to choose from).  The clarity now achieved in the initial fulfillment of our goals clearly establishes  LSW as a public service organistion in the minds not only of LSW's own burgeoning membership, but also in that of the world at large.   Long may LSW continue to serve not only its own noted congregation but, at one and the same time, strive to fulfill the needs of that same 'noted' wider community. 

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Of course, it is never too late to learn and as we all live in a state of perpetual anticipation of good fortune ....




   Your Generous Assistance is Requested

wpe1.jpg (17863 bytes) Much as with the Globe itself, in all its various periods of re-construction, LSW cannot be a 'one man' effort.

I would love to hear your comments about the web site, indeed about LSW and, its heart, the LSW Prison Project.  Each and all are greatly valued.

Upcoming features planned include:-

  • Diary Entries for the LSW Sunday Sessions, so there can be an active record of the highlights of these extraordinary undertakings;
  • Diary Entries for the LSW Prison Projects so they too can be actively recorded.  Proudly there are now over ninety such records.
  • LSW Member News so that it can be used as an effective communicative (and affordable) tool in order to inform both your own peers, their friends and, indeed, anyone who may stumble upon this site.
  • LSW On-Line Magazine including interviews with guests.
  • LSW Discussion Group allowing one and all to (a) get it off your chest and (b) actively engage with others in a different (cyber) space.

The options are as limitless as our imaginations.

Still, this will not happen of its own accord.   Thus, I'm going to ask for your assistance - your generous assistance.  LSW will need the following:-

Remember:  L:fe's but a learning experience and:-

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The Bard sends us all back to its School - joyously!!!

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