Reading Prison: Plan

All the world is a stage but the play is badly cast.‘ – Oscar Wilde. In groups we will be making a piece in response to this quote, and to our trip to the prison here; Reading Gaol, which was open as an art exhibition. Most of the work centred around the history of the prison, which was the most moving part in my opinion. I have written an article about the exhibition and the prison for the university newspaper, the Spark. Please read it below, or on once it is published.


I also played around with the photos I took using Photoshop. The results are below.

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My first brainstorm around Wilde’s quote led to the idea that people’s fates are already scripted, and out of our control. Perhaps prisoners themselves can’t control the fact that they end up in prison. As if we are puppets being controlled by a puppet master. This led to a couple of ideas; one involving puppets, and a performance about struggling to perform a play while separated.

At our meeting we decided to go with the puppets idea, and came up with a plan. The puppet will be anonymous drawing figure on the stage, inside of a bird cage that will act as the prison. The one figure will be wearing a hood like the prisoners in Reading Gaol wore as part of the separate system.

When we think about the exhibition of the cage we will also be considering keeping it separate, hanging in space, and lit by stage lights. Our first step is waiting for the essentially ‘found’ objects.

Below is our plan.

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