The Level 3 students organised a fantastic conference in the Waldegrave Drawing room, this afternoon looking at access to rehabilitative theatre for offenders and ex-offenders. It was the culmination of the excellent work they've done with Keith on the Prison Theatre module. We had a great turn out with students traveling down from Liverpool John Moore's and across town from Central and Goldsmiths to join all three years of our Applied Theatre course.
Katie introduced events and then Nabil gave an impassioned short speech explaining his own journey from taking part in a workshop whilst he was an inmate at Wormwood Scrubs to the PACE course at Goldsmiths, which gave him the foundation he needed to join us here at Drama St Mary's. Since being with us he's started his own youth group in his local area, which he's going to try and keep active after he graduates this summer.
We split into three. A third of the conference went off to take part in a workshop run by Saul Hewish of Rideout Theatre, another third went of with The Comedy School and the rest of us stayed for a question and answer session with Stephen Nash from Arts Alliance, Fiona Curran from the Koestler Trust and Neil Grutchfield from Synergy Theatre Project.
Apart from the learning that went on, the afternoon gave prison arts workers a real chance to network and share strategies for continuing to develop good practice in difficult times. A very impressive event for the students to have created. I hope it'll be the first of many such meetings we'll hold at St. Marys.