Tranche Feedback ....

 LUP:  Where process IS product .

 

A report on two LUP2 Preparatory Workouts
with 2nd Year BA Students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama
:
http://www.lswproductions.co.uk/gsmddb.htm

One student realised that she was perhaps more apprehensive about the process than the prison residents were. Inspired by their eager willingness at being creatively discombobulated she cited the inmates as being individuals to look up to; finding that their sense of breakout now informed her own studies at Guildhall.

A young Exeter graduate looks forward to shadowing the LUP2 Adventure ...

With regards to hope, becoming and giving, I am willing myself to live up to your hopes, just as we will the prisoners to lay claim to their future and achieve their promise, courage prevailing over cost. On my existential bike rides, I often lapse into asking myself why I am here, who am I here for, how am I meant to make a contribution? The past few weeks have been quite personally invigorating in terms of helping me define my own principles and sense of self. I want to learn, I want to be, and I want to contribute. Again, I am grateful for your inclusion and repeated kindness to urge this mission on. 

Ben Philipp



 

 

A young graduating drama student from Mountview 
(himself an ex-offender) writes on receiving an invitation to join an LUP2 session:


Hello Dr. Bruce,

Thank you so much for sending this through to me. This is something I am  entirely passionate about. For if it weren't for programs such a this. I wouldn't be where I am today, about to finish a degree in acting! When I was 16 I got involved in an armed robbery and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years. Of which I ended up doing 15 months inside Ashfield Young Offenders Institute in Bristol. 9 months into my sentence I met Jesse Jones, a director from the Bristol Old Vic, who with theatre. Changed my life. Theatre in prisons is extremely important to me. And I salute you for all the work  you are doing and it would be an honour to somehow be a part of this.
Thank you and all the best,  Joseph Langdon

 

A noted teacher from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Brodie Ross, writes in support of an inmate who got released the day after his second LUP2/LSW Workout.  Oscar was so desperate to become a LUP2 member he called the prison the next day saying he wanted 'to come back in to do this'. 

Segment -

The possibility of Oscar returning to revisit the work he has been doing
with Bruce Wall and LSW for the Christmas presentation of PREPARE is
one such opportunity.  I am aware of the complex, extensive and necessary
protocols in prison but I have no doubt that Oscar's participation in this
would be mutually inspiring for all parties and really hope there is a way to
make it happen.

Sadly this did not come to pass but Brodie's generous support meant a huge amount to the Charity and Oscar who, instead of LUP2, went on to take part in two LSW workouts at RADA, one with UCLstudents and another at Oxford University.  Some might feel that was more than a fair trade.


Young actors respond to their Friday session:

Thank you so much for the opportunity, it was such a unique and eye-opening experience. The work you do there is simply fantastic and I was glad to be a part of it. Please reach out to me if you think I could help out some other time as I'd be more than willing to visit again.

Will Jarvis

Will wrote a telling blog brilliantly encapsulating the
LUP: WHERE PROCESS IS PRODUCT philosophy.
You can read that here

 

I'm just emailing to say thank you once again for an amazing opportunity this afternoon. It was an absolute privilege and Joy to work and see YOU work with the prisoners today. It really warmed my heart, inspired me and has given me plenty food for thought. To see their passion and commitment to the project was amazing and overall an experience I'm beyond thankful for.

Joshua Boyd-Campbell

Thank you so much for having me along on Friday. It's a really valuable thing you're doing with them and it is obvious that the participants appreciate it, and they really have potential to do some very fine work.

Patch Harvey

The workout has stayed with me at the forefront of my mind since, and will continue to do so for a long, long time still. .... Lastly I must say I think the Initiative is truly glorious and a delight to behold and I am indebted to you for such a wonderful opportunity and experience.

                                   Finn Burge, UCL Student


A talented artist, Gareth Morgan, writes a blog
about his experience drawing in a LUP2 session:

http://blogs.arts.ac.uk/pgcommunity/2017/11/13/drawing-a-london-shakespeare-workout-at-hmp-pentonville/

Segment -

Absorbed in watching the Workout I tried to loosen my line but there was a major problem as nobody stayed still for a moment. Not to worry, they’ll soon stand still and do some Shakespeare, I thought.

This didn’t happen – I was watching a workout not a rehearsal which can be more sedentary – instead I saw tapping and stamping, animal evolution responses, rhythmic iambic pentameter games, insults and curses in various languages – the bodies, larynxes and minds of everybody in the group were fully engaged and working hard.

 

The extraordinary Rose Bruford Head of Voice, Tess Dignan,
kindly wrote this fine verse following a LUP Session

Just out of Prison, - changed. 

 

The weight of so many locks and keys 

Soulless metal magnolia paint, 

The smell of sweat and boredom 

Windowless corridors 

Resigned faces

Waves of clanging 

And a library full of dead books

And protocols

And out of the fear came hope

And out of the hope came dusty souls

And we swung together 

On the branches of poetry

And fresh air came into our lungs

And imagination filled the room with wild flowers

And we shared water and words and wit

And when we left we squeezed hands

I, to my freedom

Our residents, to a window

Which they took with them

Freshly made

Into their cells...

 


A young Central School graduate, Eoin McAndrew,
writes of attending a LUP2 Session


Thank you so much for the opportunity to observe and participate in your work at Pentonville. It’s really fascinating and the benefit to the men is obvious. Saying that I found the benefit to my own work profound.  I felt as if I had a third ear going on stage that evening and other members of the cast said they sensed this as well.  They are all now eager to take part.  The men were a great group and very talented. If at all possible, I’d love to come in for another LSW workshop in the new year - if you’ll have me of course!

 


RANDOM TWEETS ..

#Beautifully documented @LUPRDC sessions, demonstrating how it might feel to take part in the #amazing opportunities they offer. 

 

Robyn Lister ...

 

Such a privilege.  I can't wait to return. 
You are doing phenomenal work.

James Glyn ...

Thank you @LUPRDC, @Pentonville175, @Tabacaria for the vital work that you are doing.  Still pinching myself after this morning. 

 

Joshua Boyd-Campbell ...

 

Had a great time working with the guys @Pentonville175 prison today!  Thank you @LUPRDC & @Tabacaria for having me on board. 

 

Lydia Fleming ...

 

Cannot thank @LUPRDC, @Pentonville 175 enough for allowing us to visit for today's Shakespeare Workshop.  Inspiring, wonderful people all round.

Elleanne Green ...

I spent today in Pentonville Prison watching prisoners perform and dig down to find something amazing in themselves -
It was immensely moving

 

 

It was our huge joy to have CLARE BARSTOW attend a session and the Christmas presentation of PREPARE.  Kindly she wrote an article in the Prison Service journal 'INSIDE TIMES' about her own LSW history and the import of the LSW/LUP2 work.

https://insidetime.org/conversations-with-clare-playwright-honoured-in-pentonville/

Segment -

'Leroy, one of the actors, read some quotes by Joe Orton of his prison experience as well as showing an image of a defaced cover which is an artwork in itself. Leroy is incredibly articulate and is due for release shortly. He has already been hired to appear in a film next month, proving that the project is working by allowing us all to have the will to dream. As Bruce quotes from The Tempest at the end of each session, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.

 

 

One of the talented artists recording the magic of the LUP2 sessions
through their own practical artistry, Kelise Franklemont, writes a magnificent blog on her experience and shares her impressions of the work she witnesses


https://kelise72.com/2017/12/18/life-drawing-lsw-london/

Three more actors arrive, two whose names I can’t quite hear over the musicians testing the newest phrase, the first tall and well-met with the easy smile full of welcome, the second whose spirit, unlike the others, is a carefully guarded mask. Still I’m not convinced by the tough-guy-i-don’t-care exterior, who pretends to be here for a change of pace – I can feel the gusto with which he gathers his why-not in a fist to shout in chorus “I’m free!” …and Daniel, a spark about to ignite… and I saw it happen when he became an old man, palsied and stumbling, unable to speak…around him courage swelled and defied all weakness, to help him raise his hand, grasping an imaginary torch that we all could see. And he is a hero.



 

 

A young actor, Jake Henderson, about to graduate from E15
writes on attending the Xmas presentation of PREPARE

Having the opportunity to be involved with a rehearsed reading with the London Shakespeare Workout at HM Prison Pentonville was an experience I will cherish and harbour in my memory. From the moment we met outside the prison we were kept informed about the day ahead and detailed advice was constantly given. The prison staff involved with the rehearsed reading were kind, welcoming and made us visitors feel very much at ease within the environment. Meeting the inmates and seeing their enthusiasm, drive and love for the craft of acting was truly inspiring. Their work ethic was that of a professional theatre company and it really went to show that no matter your background, no matter what you have been through in your past, there is nothing stopping you from reshaping your future and channelling your energy into something productive, and something beautiful. And nobody, not anyone, can take that away from you. I would be amiss not to also congratulate the incredible work provided by the actor-musicians from Rose Bruford, the music they devised was simply magical. I would like to thank HM Prison Pentonville for allowing me to see this phenomenal work take place and of course, my biggest thanks to Bruce Wall, who lead the session and gave me the opportunity to be involved. Bruce, your work continues to astound and inspire me, thank you for everything you do, and I seriously hope to have the opportunity to get involved again.

A recent Oxford grad, Georgina Figgis, attending the same notes:

I wanted to express once again how grateful I am for the opportunity to accompany you to Pentonville last week, and how much I enjoyed watching PREPARE coming together. I was impressed by how hard the men worked with such little rehearsal time, and I was particularly inspired by talking to several of them after the performance and hearing how passionate they were. 




 


 

 

 

Joseph Langdon (referenced above) writes after his first LSW/LUP session with the LUP2 lads.  In a strange sense a homecoming of sorts. 

 

Being at Pentonville was the most humbling experience I have had in a while. The fearlessness and commitment was truly admirable. Not to say I am surprised. Throwing themselves into any challenge, quicker and with more vigour than a lot of actors I have met. They would also find the truth, and their personal connection to the text. And when I got up and did a Shylock monologue to them, their support and attentiveness was fueling. I felt so fortunate to be a part of the work they have been doing. I only hope they continue the great work they are doing inside and beyond the tall walls that surround them. It was a gentle reminder for me to count my blessings and not take my freedom for granted. Inspirational!
 

 


 


Finlay Stroud, OUDS (Oxford University) Workshop Co-ordinator writes

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you but I wanted nevertheless to express my heartfelt thanks for the opportunity to come into Pentonville with you and see the incredible work you and the inmates do together - they really were such an inspiration. It was a joy to meet some of them, as well as the fellow actors-in-training who were all lovely, lovely people.  I understand by now you will have taken others from our first workshop last term into the prison as well - I hope they enjoyed it as much as Georgia and I did. If you are interested, we here at OUDS would love to be able to offer that opportunity to another cohort of students, and were wondering therefore whether you’d be interested in running another workshop this term?

A young student from Oxford University, Phillippa Lawford, who had participated
in an LSW/LUP workout at Worchester College writes after attending the first
LUP2 preparatory session for PRETEND (a theatrical etching of Pushkin's
Tale of Boris Godunov - additionally using Shakespeare - performed
both in Russian and English) in Pentonville's C3 (just down the hall
from where Oscar Wilde himself did time.)

Thank you so much for inviting me to join you at Pentonville on Friday.  I had an amazing and completely eye-opening experience being part of the workshop, and I have been thinking and talking about it nonstop since.  It was really incredible to meet the prisoners and watch them act.  They were so talented and had such an immediate and vital feel for the text which was really exciting coming from the world of Oxford drama, which can be so stuffy and pretentious.  There were moments where I was really moved by the emotion that some of them were able to convey so naturally and truthfully, even on their first time reading the script.


 


A young thesbian, Barty Shepherd, an ALRA grad,
writes after attending the performance of PRETEND in the
HMP Pentonville Chapel, 24.1.18

Dear Bruce,
 

I just wanted to say thank you so much for yesterday. I have never done anything like that before, and I am truly in awe. I went in with no expectations of anything whatsoever, but I left truly inspired, amazed and impressed. I felt inspired by the prisoners in more ways than one; their performances were truly brilliant, and I am not just saying that. Considering they mentioned that they had little or no experience in drama before, and that they had only 8 hours of rehearsal total for Pretend, they truly performed brilliantly, which is a credit to them and yourself. They were very professional as well, there was no playing for laughs, breaking character, not taking it seriously, etc., and they were so committed, in both a professional capacity, but also in terms of their performance; their vocal energy, physical energy and commitment. I found a lot of their performances truly moving, and I had such a lovely time chatting to as many as I could afterwards.

 

Thank you very much again Bruce, for allowing me to be part of such an uplifting event, it has truly been an honour.



 

Alex Walker of Martin Gibbons Casting writes
after the same:

Morning Bruce

I just wanted to email to thank you again for having me to watch the performance yesterday.

I really can’t stop thinking about it. It was wonderful.

To see them find such joy in the text and in performing it was so brilliant. I was also really pleased to see some really lovely acting and such wonderful team spirit.

What you are doing for those men is really transforming their confidence
and self esteem. 


I teach and run workshops myself and it was really inspiring to see how much energy you give of yourself to the group. Really inspiring.

So thank you again.

 



 

The Casting Director, Irene East, writes:

Thank you over and over for such an exhilarating afternoon.   As necessary for the visitors as the residents.   And Pushkin in Russian blows one's mind.

The Casting Director, Sally Vaughan, exudes:

Dear Bruce - what a wonderful afternoon yesterday; I really enjoyed being part of it and found everyone so interesting. 
 

It was a very wonderful event and the inmates were great actors!  Didn't really speak to many of them unfortunately but the time vanished when we were all chatting and drinking cups of tea!  Thanks again for inviting me; it was very special.


The Casting Director, Caroline Funnell, implores:
 

           Dear Bruce, Jose and & Governor and Team at HMP Pentonville

Thank you so much for yesterday’s event.  It was inspiring, uplifting and deeply moving to be able to share in this experience and most of all to realise how much this mattered to the participants and how much they are gaining from the workshops.
 
I hope that this programme is able to continue both at Pentonville and other prisons and reach many more inmates and helping to change lives.
 
Thanks once again for both the invitation and the hospitality.

                  The Acting HMP Pentonville Governor, Dean Gardiner, responds:
 
Hello Caroline
 
Thanks for your email and I'm glad the program is going well and am certainly happy to support it going forward
Dean
 

A noted Director / Translator responds:

I am feeling incredibly grateful for having been able to witness one of Bruce Wall's theatre showings with inmates at Pentonville Prison. The performances of all participants left a luminous and lasting impression: so filled with presence, energy and expressiveness.  It is rare to find such unmannered, brave and subtle performances even in professional shows. Each actor brought their full self and individuality to their performances and yet fully embraced and committed to their character. Bruce Wall is a magician and social revolutionary to bring out such talent within the most dififcult, adverse working circumstances. It's heart-warming to see what theatre can do. This work needs to be supported, nourished, shown and shared with the wider public.

Phoebe von Held


A Couple of the LUP2 Lads respond to their adventure:

           When I first came into [workout space] my two upper front teeth had been bashed out.  'A sign of defining character,' I kept telling myself.  It proved even MORE.  It was a fantastic advantage in learning how to project my voice and enunciate.  When I got those teeth fixed I was so much more than just ready to perform. I 'jawed'

 

                                                        Lup2 Lad 1 - Vlad

 

For half a year I spent most days sleeping.  Now I had a reason to get up in the morning.  For half a year I never read a book.  Now I've read 14 Shakespeare plays.  In so many ways I find I'm not in prison any more.  I've created a role for myself and been able to share it with others.  We interconnect.

Above all this Tranche has provided for me the chance to re-connect with my own heritage and, most especially, the Russian language itself.  I've found new music in it.  Part of that discovery was through working with the musicians.  It is so rare to hear anything live in this prison.  Those musicians' work invigorated ours and punctuated our scenes.  It was, in fact, like another character.

Lup2 Lad 2 - Shaw

In celebration of LSW's 20th Anniversary year
Luke Barber of the 'i' Newspaper wrote a most generous article:

https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/shakespeare-workshops-prison/

The LUP2 Lads felt it had 'A Most Fitting Title!'

 SHAKESPEARE WORKOUTS ARE LIKE SUN AFTER RAIN FOR INMATES

   

         Artwork here presented was generously created during LSW's LUP2 RDC Tranche sessions by Kelise Franclemont, Sepideh Khalili, Robyn Lister, Gareth Morgan, Glen Mendes, Nathan Pimlott,  Juan Carlos Sabogal, Keith Slote, Miguel Sopeena, Abigail Yentis, Joyce Zhang and Xinwen (Orange) Zhang