We are Glasshouse Theatre
, a company founded by us (Harriet and Ella!) whilst we were working as Prison Officers in London Jails. We have used our frontline experience to create our debut production 'Cell Outs', a dark comedy that follows the true experiences of two young women, as they stare down the injustices of the UK prison system, and attempt to unpick the dangerous effects of power and privilege.
Cell Outs is ‘an unflinching look into the pair’s anger and trauma’ (Medium, 5 stars), it uses song, silliness and ‘hilariously biting criticisms’ to explore the brutality of what Prison Officers face, prisoners endure, and the sacrifices we make to survive.
Your money will go towards staging 'Cell Outs' to bring it to a wider audience. It will enable us to complete a 2 week run at the Kings Head Theatre; to deliver workshops (in schools and in the community) for young people whose lives have been affected by prison, Q&As and panel discussions. Through this, we will work towards shifting public perception on Officers, invite critical exploration of prison and its impact on individuals, and move towards radical reform in the Criminal Justice System.
During covid-19 society celebrated the staff working frontline to keep us all safe, those putting themselves at risk during the pandemic to protect us, keep us healthy, fed and connected. But Prison Officers were often neglected, their stories were untold and their experiences silenced. For Officers, it's an everyday reality to put yourself at risk to keep others safe. Facing high levels of violence, suicide and self-harm the service is facing catastrophic levels of burnout and brutalisation (which we witnessed and felt first-hand).
We are using Cell Outs to challenge the stigma around the work of an Officer and to invite audiences to examine the systemic injustices upon which the Criminal Justice System is built. As well as our London run and regional tour of Cell Outs we are bringing our work into schools, the Ministry of Justice and community centres with workshops to build awareness and inspire new ideas around reform.