Out of Sight
A play about Lucy
performed at the Tabard Theatre, 1987
Out of Sight
A devised play developed by Liz Butt, Sheila Dewey, David Kester, Sophie Hedderwick and Amanda Maylin.
Written by Sheila Dewey
Sophie Hedderwick as 'Lucy'
Amanda Maylin as the Prison Officer, Rosie, Melanie, Lucy's room mate, the psychiatrist, the governor, the police constable, the taxi driver, the magistrate, the nurse.
The idea for Out of Sight came from when David Kester, the director of the project, read an article by Nick Davies in The Observer, about C1, the psychiatric wing of Holloway Prison.
David explored the idea in a series of workshops and improvisations in the company of Liz Butt, Chris Heighes and Holly Jamieson. They gave a successful performance at the Tabard Theatre in August 1986.
Further workshops followed and the company, now joined by actresses Sophie Hedderwick and Amanda Maylin, and writer Sheila Dewey, embarked on an extended programme of research and improvisation.
They spoke to Lucy's family, her psychiatrist, ex-prisoners, members of the legal profession, and pressure groups. They visited Holloway Prison.
The research began in January 1987 and was followed by five weeks of discussion and improvisation, followed by three weeks in which the script was completed and the design convention established. During the remaining two weeks of intensive rehearsal the company co-ordinated and refined the use of the set which has developed with the production.
The play explores the events surrounding the arrest and imprisonment in 1984 of Lucy Reynolds who was remanded in custody in Holloway Prison for seventeen weeks.
The following year, at the age of twenty-one, Lucy committed suicide.
Review from City Limits Magazine
Lucy was a real person. In 1984 she was remanded in custody in Holloway's psychiatric wing for non-payment of taxi fares. She was there for seventeen weeks. The following year she killed herself. Researched and developed over a nine month period with the full support of Lucy's Family, OUT OF SIGHT (Tabard) is Lucy's story: a fictionalised account of her experiences in Holloway seen entirely through her eyes. Mask work is an integral part of the production and the two-person cast includes a member of the excellent Clean Break Company who have produced many plays about prison life. "Working on this production," says writer Sheila Dewey "has unearthed more questions than we've been able to answer. But we hope that 'Out of Sight' will raise public awareness of people like Lucy who need help but end up in prison because it's the only place that will take them. Lucy was a very disturbed person but locking her up wasn't the answer. People like her and others in Holloway are a very vulnerable group in society." (Lyn Gardner)
Review from Open Mind
'Out of Sight', a play devised by Tabard Theatre Company, asks the question 'Why prison and for whom?' This is Lucy's story, arrested for evading taxi fares and remanded in custody for 17 weeks in the psychiatric wing of Holloway Prison - the notorious C1. Researching and developing the play over nine months, the company worked closely with prison authorities and pressure groups. They spent time in Holloway, and talked to lawyers, psychiatrists and with Lucy's family. The play shows with a great deal of humour, the strength of, and need for human contact.