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shouting from the sidelines

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stories + theatre + community = impact 

working with families of prisoners  In partnership with Sussex Prisoners' Families and Uninterrupted Theatre Collective, this project is focused on these ever present members of our communities, who are often overlooked, stigmatised and unsupported.


Through pilot activity initiated in 2018, we have recorded interviews with women who have a family member serving prison sentences, and have put together a collection of their stories with the aim to produce an original live performance. The stories describe the hidden sentence served by families, following their journeys from an initial arrest to, in some cases, release from prison.


The project explores the nature of love under extreme stress and the shadows cast upon whole families when someone receives a prison sentence.


It is well documented that repeat offending is greatly reduced when prisoners are able to maintain family ties during a sentence. These stories explain why this is so difficult and how the justice system challenges and changes these familial relationships.

Through a process of collaboration between professional creatives and these experts by experience, we are building a platform for education and community engagement including performances, presentations, discussions and training sessions. We are working across Sussex and beyond through live and digital platforms. 


Shouting From The Sidelines aims to:


•   deliver high quality writing, performance and educational activity to empower women storytellers (mostly mothers with a child in prison), acknowledging their resilience and strength. We will collaborate with the women throughout, ensuring their voices are represented authentically.

•   create an original play using innovative verbatim techniques based on lived experience, research and the knowledge and experience of professionals working with prisoner families.


•   raise awareness and provide a catalyst for conversation about issues raised by the play, not only with the women’s experiences specifically but also with broader questions of empathy and the nature of blame, shame and stigma.


Funded by Chalk Cliff Trust, Lewes Town Council and Sussex Community Foundation.

For further information about the project please email us 

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