‘When prison is your world, how do you function within society?’
Young trainee producer Sarah Gbeleyi goes to meet and interview Performer/Writer Marcus Hercules and talks about why she’s excited about this project.
“A young black man in and out of prison, that’s not news to anybody, but to use theatre to make an audience walk through that guy’s own perspective on his journey and learn why he might feel more at home when he’s inside prison - that’s an uncommon conversation, and that’s interesting.”
Prison Game is a timely piece that continues the debate on the functions of Britain’s criminal justice system: does it enable reformation and rehabilitation?
Marcus Hercules’s political drama explores the impacts of being institutionalised and the experiences that can transform a person’s persona.
A new production from the company that bought us Different Perspectives, Prison Game, is a non-fiction text based physical theatre solo performance that retells the true-life account of one of Britain’s first starred-up* criminals and the roads that led him to his present day.
Told mostly in first person, this unique perspective invites an audience to walk in the shoes of the criminal and feel his side of the story. Marcus who has been working hard setting up Hercules Productions, managing a range of creative projects, discusses the process “it’s really different writing non-fiction, in some ways it’s easy, because it kind of writes itself. It’s still hard though but in a different way. I enjoy working on this project, especially as a performer, I just feel it’s time again to get back into the creative side of things and where better to start than where it all started for me, the stage.”
Prison Game is a work in progress; after three years in R&D, and now with the support of the Royal Exchange Word-in-Progress Programme, Marcus hopes to generate interest from producers, directors and supporting venues to take it through its next stage of development to a fully-fledged piece of theatre ready to tour in 2013.
Performed excerpts of Prison Game will be available to an audience in Manchester on May 4th 2012 as part of Word-In-Progress, a programme run by Royal Exchange Theatre to support the development of new writing.
To register your interest in the development of Prison Game please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Prison Game’
To book to see excerpts of Prison Game, please contact Royal Exchange Theatre on 0161 833 9833
Royal Exchange Studio
May 4th 2012
The Royal Exchange Theatre, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7DH
Hercules Productions is also home of Hercules Actor’s Management, Young Lions Management, and the weekly Hercules Acting Classes at Studio25 in Manchester. The company’s vision is to create new fresh and inventive work. Hercules Productions seeks to raise the profile of cultural diversity in the North West through work that challenges social boundaries and takes risks. Common to most projects is the bringing together of inexperienced and experienced artists to work together in a professional arts environment. For more information visit the website.
*STARRED-UP: When a prisoner is deemed to pose an increased risk, prison staff can change that prisoner’s security category, this process is referred to as being ‘starred-up’.
Posted by Sarah Gbeleyi, Thursday 26th April, 2012