Ex-inmates’ talents unlocked

PUBLISHED: 12:48 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:26 25 August 2010

A PLAY written and performed by former offenders has been commended by a prisoners' rights charity.

A PLAY written and performed by former offenders has been commended by a prisoners' rights charity.

Bobby Cummines, founder of Unlock, the national association of reformed offenders, commended the Open Stage project at Greenwich Playhouse after a performance of The Dicephalus Project.

Speaking at a question-and-answer session last Thursday, Mr Cummines said: "This was wonderful, we need to get more of this kind of thing out for young people to see."

Directed by Michael Mahoney and produced by Janice Larkin, the performance was devised by writers involved in Open Book - an initiative based in Lewisham and Greenwich offering free study skills to ex-offenders, those with addiction or mental health issues or those who have experienced homelessness.

Loosely based on the format of La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler, the play was structured so that nine characters shared two scenes each to show different moments in their lives.

The characters included doctor (Sara Bynoe), preacher (Peter Mielniczek), a street cleaner (Keith Christie), a shop assistant (Tia Findlay), a single mum and student (Tia Findlay), a lecturer (Kevin Dineen), an unhappily middle aged man (Neil Bradley), a young man with mental health problems (Will Bufford) and his mother (Sue Rogers).

The play delved into everyday life and how institutions can affect people and those around them.

For more information about the Open Book or Open Stage project, call Janice Larkin on 020 8331 8318 or email or Anthony Hall on

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