The High Sheriff of Staffordshire

The High Sheriff of Staffordshire

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Shakespeare Unbard at Stafford Prison

I was so impressed this week by the Shakespeare UnBard production of Othello at HMP Stafford.


This truly extraordinary initiative was set up by Rowan Mackenzie to bring the works of Shakespeare into prisons around the UK and to date she is working with over 20 prisons. She works with inmates over a long period of time to understand the plays, develop the roles and stage the productions. She continued her remarkable efforts remotely throughout the Covid-19 crisis and the HMP Stafford production was remarkable, with polished performances by the cast, and an emotional reception by the family members, some visiting for the first time in two years. Testimonials from some of the actors really brought home to us how important their Shakespeare Club had become to them, particularly during periods of Covid lockdown when they had to spend so much time alone in their cells.