Prison inmates 'conquer fears' in convict performances

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 08:00:23 AM. Risdon Prison inmates know what life is like on the inside and use that experience to bring to life convict times in a series of monologues.
Photo: TSO members performed original music composed for the performances. (Supplied: TSO) Risdon Prison inmates know what life is like on the inside and have used that experience to bring to life convict times in a series of monologues. The project, The Convict Monologues, was a collaboration between the inmates, local writers, musicians and actors. Ten Risdon inmates volunteered to immerse themselves in a past world, researching the lives of early colonial convicts and writing monologues which explore how they overcame adversity and forged successful lives in Tasmania. Tasmanian writer, playwright and ABC Radio producer, Paul McIntyre said it stemmed from a personal desire to make a difference. Photo: Co-ordinator, Paul McIntyre, said projects like the Convict Monologues benefit more than just the inmates. (Supplied: Paul McIntyre) "I have a couple of pen pals in prison in the USA and a couple of years ago I thought I'd really like to do something locally — on a practical level, to help support and encourage people in prison," he said. "Last year we were putting together a short film written by Risdon inmates called Coffee and Conversations, the brain-child of Risdon Arts Officer Natasha Woods, when the idea of the Convict Monologues emerged. "I mean, who better to write about the Convict Experience than people who know what it's like to spend time in prison?" The performances — 10 months in the making — involved musicians from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO)....Read more
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