Citizens Theatre “A Family Sentence”

 Citizens Theatre  ‘A Family Sentence’


The Citizens theatre are working on a new Theatre and animation programme which explores positive parenting for prisoners and their families. This project will be delivered in the Learning Centre in HMP Barlinnie and on the outside in Garthamlock with family members. It will examine how incarceration affects family relationships, particularly those between fathers and their children, and how arts education services in prisons can successfully explore and influence prisoners’ attitudes to gender, family life and their role as a father.

A prison sentence does not only affect the person who is to be incarcerated, it affects their whole family both during and long after the sentence has been served. This is particularly true when it comes to issues of parenting, separation and prisoners’ evolving relationships with their spouses/partners/children and other family members.The theatre-based creative learning project will explore these issues from the experiences of both the men and those left on the outside, bringing together these differing perspectives with the aim of encouraging greater understanding both within and out with the social circles of those directly affected, and improving prisoners’ long-term familial bonding. This will be achieved through the creation of a theatrical ‘conversation’ between the men (the fathers/brothers/sons) inside the prison and the families (the partners/families/children) on the outside. This ‘conversation’ will be based on the words and real-life experiences of current HMP Barlinnie prisoners and families affected by incarceration, and will be developed into 2 separate (but complimentary) performance projects and an accompanying educational support pack.

The project spans over a 5 month period with weekly sessions taking place from January to May 2017 culminating in a live performance with animation in Barlinnie Conference room on 24th and 25th May.

The project in the Garthamlock community will take place on the 15th and 16th June at the Parish church and will transfer to the Citizens Theatre on 22nd and 23rd June.

The performance will act as a Theatrical conversation encouraging a greater understanding between the prison and communities outside. Digital sound and animation will form a powerful backdrop to the performance.

The Citizens Theatre has a long standing track record of creating high quality Theatre workshops and productions with the men in Barlinnie.

Here is some feedback from past participants.

One of the most positive experiences of my life. The exhilaration and enjoyment from performing for the first time were exceptional. Brilliant working as part of a team with a common goal. Citizens Theatre guys and gals were inspirational’



Had a really really good time and would definitely do it again and see the Citizens Theatre when I get out. Thank you so very much. Made me feel human again.



This was one of the best experiences of my life. I enjoyed working with the pro’s and it also was a great way of directing my feelings of being in Prison. It has also ignited an old passion for Drama that I haven’t had since school.



Thanks to the Citizens Theatre team. Great support and encouragement from the Citz to express ourselves. This experience will support my vision for employment and re- integration back into the community.



Great Experience one that will never be forgotten.  It supported my belief in myself, self-confidence. So much fun! We worked as a team with my fellow peers to be creative and express ourselves.



The show was amazing. I absolutely love the citizens theatre they give you a platform to showcase you’re talents etc. It’s great for building confidence and also gives you a real sense of purpose.–


Citz website