Inside Out is an Applied Theatre project currently in its research and development phase. It involves an Applied Theatre piece written after a period of discussion with homeless and ex-offenders. As such all experiences described are true and we aim to always keep true to the voices of those who share with us. The goal of the performance and project to be developed from this is to look at how the feelings experienced by these issues related to the seven stages of grief. Our ultimate goal is to challenge preconceptions and labelling.
Inside Out - From a study in grief
‘Til Death’ led us into prison, and working with offenders who had experience of domestic abuse. As we ran the play and the workshop often the play caused flashbacks to moments in their own lives, and we’d explore these safely in the workshop. Many participants talked about a sense of loss when they came into prison and the emotional difficulty of adjusting to prison.
We found that many of them had nothing to look forward to coming out of prison, there old life and in some cases relationships had gone. They’d lost their jobs, their families and their homes. We started working on the link between prison and homelessness. We used the 7 stages of grief to structure it.
Inside Out became a conversation between two characters – one is just out of prison and in temporary accommodation, who argues he’s had a much worse deal than the other guy who’s street homeless.
Based on the conversations we’d had with men who’d had these experiences the dialogue and the arguments feel very authentic. Taking the play round a number of hostels across south Wales we found the actors would often be interrupted by audience members wanting to express their opinion on who had it worse and why. Inside Out was created on a voluntary basis. We tried a few places to get funding but were unsuccessful. Alan, Gareth, & Jason brought the play to life and spent a lot of time talking to the guys who wanted to know what had happened to them and where they were staying now.
‘Watching the play and seeing how our residents reacted – I’d never seen that side of them. They told the actors more about their lives in that situation than any support session I’ve done with them’
Homeless support worker, Cardiff
The play created interest from homeless Charity The Wallich and when the then CEO Antonia Watson saw its impact, she wanted more…… and so began the next project.