Otago Corrections Facility prisoners and staff watch the
play Verbatim yesterday. Photo supplied.
Hard-hitting plays about the criminal justice system have
won over the most hardened critics.
This week, an Auckland theatre company performed in front of
prisoners at the Otago Corrections Facility, as part of a
The plays, Verbatim and Portraits, were first
toured two decades ago.
They were written by actor Miranda Harcourt and playwright
William Brandt after they visited prisons and interviewed
people affected by crime.
One prisoner, whose offending spanned 25 years, said he
related to the plays and ''it gave me inspiration to change
Another offender said: ''There was a direct correlation
between what was playing out before us and parts of our own
''It allowed us to look at the skills we now possess to stop
similar situations occurring for us and breathe a new life
Other prisoner comments included a recommendation school
pupils see the plays.
''Kids don't get educated in drugs and alcohol, violence or
Another prisoner said one scene ''reminded me of my own
mother, who only visited [him in prison] once''.
''Society needs to change their way of thinking.
Reintegration into society is key,'' another prisoner noted.
The plays - which featured actors Renee Lyons, Jodie Rimmer
and Fraser Brown - will be performed next in Invercargill at
the Scottish Hall on Wednesday and Thursday.