A Festival of New Plays by Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners come to Theatre503

Showcasing the winners of Synergy’s national prison scriptwriting competition, Homecomings is a festival of new work by prisoners and ex-prisoners about getting out and going home featuring Glory Whispers by Sonya Hale and The Monkey by John Stanley.

Synergy creates ground-breaking work which harnesses the energy, instincts and life experiences of prisoners, ex-prisoners and young people at risk of offending. Synergy bring original stories from unheard voices to the stage and offer fresh insights into the criminal justice system.

Sonya Hale’s tense domestic thriller, Glory Whispers, begins with a whispered name and leads to a reunion charged with hope, deception and the spectre of addiction. An unexpected meeting with Glory brings hope to Mina; if she can stay clean and Glory can bring up a kid then maybe even mad Jonno can fix up and they can be a family again. But sacrifices, secrets and survival can get in the way of your dreams.

Sonya Hale comments, Addiction took me to some dark places – homelessness, degradation and I lost any contact with my family. However, I am now six years clean and out of prison, I am able to be a mum to my son and finally able to pursue my dreams as a writer.

In The Monkey, John Stanley paints a darkly comic portrait of dishonourable thieves bound together by addiction. Tel’s left Bermondsey behind and only robs the occasional drum now. He prefers dealing in moody clobber from Deptford. But he’s got a screw loose and word’s out he’s a soft touch. Thick-Al owes him a monkey and he has to revisit old hunting grounds to collect.

John comments, I was friendly with a member of staff who worked at the Young Vic. She told me about Synergy Theatre Project and after completing my first ever playwriting course with them I wrote The Monkey. The four characters in The Monkey echo the brief glimpse of the many diverse and varied people I met during my life’s erratic and unusual journey. That the first play I’ve ever written is being produced is beyond my wildest dreams and I owe much to the patience and perseverance of everyone working for Synergy.

Homecomings: A Festival of New Plays by Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners plays at Theatre503 21 February – 18 March 2017