Clouds

Theatre is a tool to free the imagination for people of all ages and backgrounds. It is especially vital for prisoners, confined in a closed environment with a severely limited range of experiences in their daily lives. Theatre touches parts of the heart and mind that need awakening if people are to expand their lives both within prison walls and when they get out. It is a key to change. Roger Graef – patron of Kestrel Theatre Company

OUR MISSION

Kestrel employs professionals to work creatively within the criminal justice system, facilitating original pieces of work, mostly theatre and film. By empowering offenders to express themselves in a non judgmental, collaborative and enabling environment, our aim is to help them develop greater self confidence, mutual respect, and resilience. And by realising their creative potential, help them produce work of the highest standard.

The original cast from Broken Dreams on the set at the Royal Court Theatre in December 2017.

NEWS

Welcoming Marc Conway to the Board

We are delighted to welcome Marc Conway, Prison Engagement Officer for The Prison Reform Trust and a Kestrel Alumnus to our Board of Trustees. Here he is (right) with Ricardo Thomas in rehearsals for Broken Dreams, performed at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 2017.

New Artistic Director

We have now appointed a new Artistic Director, who will start work in August. All will be revealed then.

After Time 2

Following on from the success of our contribution to the nationwide initiative led by Headlong Theatre, Signal Fires in November 2020, in March 2021 and still in lockdown we worked with four more Kestrel alumni, to produce four new fictional stories about men dealing with life after prison.

Click here to find out more and see an edited version of the event, performed on Zoom. 

Bulb Sale 2020

Thank you to everyone who supported our annual Christmas bulb sale either by buying the pots or by donating. Henri and Caroline did us proud by hosting a bulb sale in their front garden in London, complete with carol singers – students from the Royal Academy, and together with our online sale in Oxford raised a little over £3,500. More funds means more projects with people with experience of the criminal justice system in 2021.

Signal Fires

Kestrel join a host of other companies to tell stories around the fire. More information here.

You can read more on the blog here.

Drama Club in HMP Springhill 2020

Our weekly Drama Club has started again at HMP Springhill. We can’t wait to meet up again with some of the actors from our Christmas Panto, ‘Rio’s Extraordinary Christmas,’ as well as meet some new faces.

Rio’s Extraordinary Christmas

Our second collaboration with the wonderful Irene Taylor Trust, saw five performances of Rio’s Extraordinary Christmas, an original pantomime with a fabulous score written and performed by the men.  You can listen to it here.

Thanks also to BACO mascots, miniature donkeys Mavis and Mabel who returned to lead families up to performances. Over 300 people attended.

You can read the testimonials from the actors, musicians and audience here, and find out more about this project here.

Drama Club in HMP Springhill

After a successful run of 10 Tuesday evening drama workshops led by two professional actors, in the spring of 2019, we extended The Drama Club by another 10 weeks. There were two well-attended sharings of the work for outside guests and residents. This project was kindly supported by Chiltern Railways.

Jack: A Lad In The Beanstalk – December 2018

Senior Officer Jo Major tending to BACO mascots Mavis and Mabel. The miniature donkeys were there to welcome children to the Springhill Christmas pantomime Jack-a-lad-in-the-beanstalk

Devised and written by 15 men from HMP Springhill, there were five performances to over 300 residents, staff and families. This was our first collaboration with the brilliant Irene Taylor Trust who worked with the men to compose original songs and perform them live.

Listen to the songs here.
Read the feedback here.

More about this project