A 15-year-old boy wakes up in a prison cell and can’t remember how he got there.
Blackout is a hard-hitting play about getting bullied, fighting back, trying to make a name for yourself, turning vicious, doing something stupid, losing everything, then finding your way again.
Who are we?
Established in 2000 Synergy Theatre Project works towards rehabilitation and resettlement with prisoners, ex-prisoners and young people at risk of offending through theatre and related activities whilst placing the wider issues surrounding criminal justice in the public arena.
Our work is founded on the belief that theatre can be transformative and challenges perceptions of both prisoners and society, building a more positive future. Synergy is committed to artistic excellence, believing it to be an integral part of achieving this purpose.
Who will we work with?
Blackout will be performed by a cast of ex-prisoner and professional actors for a four-week tour with post-show talks and an accompanying programme of participatory workshops to schools across London and Young Offenders Institutions (YOIs) in spring 2018. It will then play at The Roundhouse for a week-long run, enabling us to target further groups of disadvantaged young people not engaged through the tour.
We plan to reach 2,500 young people comprising pupils in Years 9 and 10 in mainstream schools and targeted at risk groups including Youth Offending Teams, Pupil Referral Units, Looked After Children Teams and YOIs. The post-show talks and workshops will facilitate further discussion and an in-depth exploration of the themes of the play – all relevant for these cohorts.
Who will deliver the project?
The ex-prisoner company members will participate in these post-show talks and co-lead the workshops alongside a professional facilitator, using their experiences and sharing personal testimonies. Their life experiences bring an authenticity to our work, enables them to connect with the young people and will provide real insight into the production’s themes. Blackout will offer five ex-prisoners opportunity to further develop their skills in acting, stage management and facilitation.
Through the production process we also intend to give three young people at risk of offending aged 14-18 the opportunity to gain a recognised Arts Award accreditation by piloting a young associates’ scheme. These young associates will take an active role in rehearsals, working alongside theatre professionals to develop skills in direction, stage management, sound and lighting. To achieve accreditation, young people will take part in structured skills-building sessions, attend an arts event and share skills with others.