Prison Shows

In 2001/2, JMC directed two shows at Maidstone prison in Kent, then a Category B security men's prison. Casts from both shows were drawn from the ranks of prisoners and prison staff. Both shows were produced by Maidstone's then writer-in-residence Chris Savage King and performed in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at Maidstone prison. The audience consisted of prisoners, staff and prison visitors.


The first production was a staging of The Who's rock album Tommy - not the Broadway version but a purer physicalisation of the album sequence of songs, with no dialogue. Performances were held on 13 and 14 September 2001. The production was acclaimed in the prison magazine Maidstone Insider and commended by the Koestler Trust as part of their annual Koestler awards.


This was followed by A Twist of Oliver!, JMC's own musical adaptation of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, featuring songs from the classic British punk era and beyond. The production ran on 8, 9 and 10 April, 2002. It was given a rave review in the Maidstone Insider by the hugely successful British singer and songwriter Jonathan King, who happened to be serving a sentence in the prison at the time!


Both productions were musically directed by Andy Nichol.