Sweet Charity

Pimlico Opera in Prison

HMP Bronzefield
Fri 6 March – Sat 14 March 2020

History

Pimlico opera’s prison project began in 1987.

The first performance in prison took place in 1989 at Wormwood Scrubs, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Walton’s The Bear.

The first joint production with prisoners took place a year later with people serving life sentences.

Since then we have taken over 60,000 members of the public into prison.

We have worked with more than 1,000 prisoners and have given crucial first employment to prisoners on their release.

Over 10,000 prisoners have seen an opera performance.

Pimlico Opera in prison
Les Miserables

How It Works

A cast, mainly of inmates, are taken from their normal regime and work full-time for five weeks with professionals to produce a show of the highest quality with a full orchestra.

Five weeks of intensive rehearsal, all day, every weekday, can be challenging. Many prisoners have never been to the theater, some cannot read, English is a second language for some.

Prison staff bind together the rehearsal process with prison life: legal and family visits, unexpected lock-downs, court hearings and so on.

There are several public performances and further performances for fellow prisoners and prison staff.

Impact

There is powerful evidence for the benefit that this work has to society, the public purse and the wider economy.

Improvements in prisoner rehabilitation and the lowering of re-offending can only be a good thing.

With professional help, I have learnt to act and dance and to express my own feelings. I have become much happier and more confident.

The project teaches us to push ourselves through our fears and has given me a new lease of life

I integrate better with other fellow residents, prison staff. I believe our prisoners and prison staff need this project

Testimonials from cast members from Sweet Charity at HMP Bronzefield 2018

Sweet Charity
Pimlico Opera

Support

This prison project continues to thrive thanks to the generosity of trusts and individuals.

We receive no public subsidy and are reliant wholly on donations.

DONATE

Performance History

2018

HMP Bronzefield  Sweet Charity 

2017

HMP High Down Les Miserables 

2015

HMP ISIS  Our House

2014

HMP Bronzefield Sister Act

2013 & 2012

HMP Erlestoke, Wiltshire

Les Miserables and West Side Story

2011 

HMP Send Surrey Sugar

2010 & 2009

HMP Wandsworth

Carmen The Musical and West Side Story

2008

HMP Kingston Sweeney Todd

(production cancelled)

2007

HMP  Wandsworth Les Miserables

2006

HMP Bronzefield, Middlesex Chicago

2005

HMP Coldingley, Surrey Assassins

2004

HMP Ashwell, Leicestershire Assassins

2003

HMP Wormwood Scrubs Guys & Dolls

2001 & 2002

HMP Winchester

West Side Story and Threepenny Opera 

1999

HMP Downview, Surrey Threepenny Opera

1997

HMP Bullingdon, Oxford West Side Story

1996

Mountjoy Prison, Ireland West Side Story

1995

HMP Wandsworth West Side Story

1993 & 1992

HMP Wandsworth West Side Story and Guys & Dolls

1991

HMP Wormwood Scrubs Sweeney Todd