I always find it amazing that the tiny Jermyn Street Theatre can put in such “big” shows.
This time it was a wonderful play about prisoner rehabilitation through embroidery. Based on fact, this play by Emma Freud was fierce and moving. It brought back the feeling of helplessness and frustration I felt as a prison teacher when classes were cancelled without notice because of lockdowns, and reminded me that the frustration was far worse for the inmates.
The inmates were not softened at all. There was no “do-goodery” about Lady Anne. Nevertheless, good was done, and hard edges softened.
There was a shocking moment towards the end of the play, but on the whole, it was an uplifting experience.
Sinéad Cusack was wonderful, of course, but the whole cast put on a fine performance. I was pleased that the trans woman character was actually played by a trans woman. I feel that the true horror of being a trans woman in a men’s prison could only really be shown this way.
There was one extra little surprise. The programme was actually the entire text of the play. A real bargain.
Go and see this if you can. You won’t be disappointed.