PERFORMERS WHO TOOK TO THE STAGE INCLUDED: MATT BERRY, RUSSELL BRAND, OLIVIA COLMAN, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, MARIELLA FROSTRUP, TOM ODELL, CLARKE PETERS, MARK STRONG AND KATE TEMPEST
(FOR PHOTOS PLEASE SEE PRESS ASSOCIATION)
Last night, December 14th, Letters Live – the live celebration of literary correspondence hosted “Letters From The Inside” – a very special one off show at HM Prison Brixton’s historic chapel in partnership with National Prison Radio. The show featured emotional, funny and moving letters read by Michael Balogun, Matt Berry, Russell Brand, Olivia Colman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mariella Frostrup, Julia Howard, Clarke Peters, Mark Strong and Kate Tempest.
Prior to the exclusive Letters Live performance in HM Prison Brixton’s historic chapel, the audience, made up of members of the public who bought tickets in aid of Prison Radio Association were invited to a canapé and ‘mocktail’ reception at the famous Clink Restaurant, situated behind the walls of HM Prison Brixton.
Letters Live’s most intimate show to date, ‘Letters from the Inside’ was in aid of Prison Radio Association – Third Sector’s 2016 Charity of the Year – and the show was broadcast live on National Prison Radio to 110 prisons across England and Wales.
Founded in 2006, Prison Radio Association run National Prison Radio – the world’s only national radio station for prisoners. Aiming to harness the power of media to reduce crime, National Prison Radio broadcasts into the cells of 80,000 prisoners, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When surveyed, 99% of prisoners said they know about National Prison Radio and 76% of prisoners said they listen to National Prison Radio.
Letters read during the course of the evening included letters from history from people including Iggy Pop, Lucian Freud, Jane Fonda and many more, alongside letters sent into to National Prison Radio from listeners in prisons across the UK. Two people who have been in prison read letters alongside the celebrity cast. Tom Odell performed two rousing and very fitting versions of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’ and Joe Cocker’s ‘The Letter’.
The full list of letters read is as follows:
Michael Balogun –
Brown is as pretty as white – W. E. B. Du Bois to Yolande Du Bois, October 29, 1914
Russell Brand –
Five accidents in two minutes – Fred Allen to the State of New York Insurance Dept., June 18th, 1932
I do occasionally eat – Lucian Freud to Lynn Barber, July 10th, 1993
Benedict Cumberbatch –
He is not a forgiving cat – John Cheever to Josie Herbst, December 6th, 1963
Benedict Cumberbatch with Olivia Colman –
I am so close behind you – Leonard Cohen to Marianne Ihlen, 2016
Olivia Colman –
Fortunately, I had my new radio – Mary Grant to A. Walker, August 6th, 1982
Mariella Frostrop –
The Matchbox – Sylvia Townsend Warner to Alyse Gregory, December 23rd, 1946
Julia Howard –
Don’t give up – Jane Fonda to her younger self, Late-2015
Kate Tempest –
Brand New Ancients – An extract of her poem
Clarke Peters with Kate Tempest –
Hang on, my love, and grow big and strong – Iggy Pop to Laurence, February, 1995
Mark Strong –
Alone, I am no longer a lonely soul – Bertrand Russell to Colette O’Niel, June 1918
Jamie Byng, CEO of Canongate Books and a Director of Letters Live, added: “National Prison Radio provides a vital means of connection and escape for inmates in this country’s prison system and to have been able to contribute to such an important service through this one-off Letters Live in Brixton Prison is a real honour. It is definitely one of the most memorable and powerful shows we have ever put on.”
For further information please contact Murray Chalmers PR:
0207 361 0730
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About Letters Live
Inspired by Shaun Usher’s best-selling Letters of Note anthologies and Simon Garfield’s To The Letter, Letters Live is a live performance that celebrates the power of literary correspondence, with each show enabling audiences to hear a variety of world class performers reading remarkable letters written across the ages and from around the world. Created and developed by Canongate Books, the first Letters Live took place in December 2013 at the Tabernacle in west London and, in partnership with SunnyMarch, has since established itself as a powerful and dynamic event attracting great talent and unforgettable performances. In February 2016, alongside The Good Chance Theatre and Help Refugees, Letters Live produced a special performance in the ‘jungle’ refugee camp on the outskirts of Calais. In November 2016, PORTER hosted a special performance of Letters live at the V&A in celebration of their Incredible Women of 2016 event. Letters Live hosts a bi-annual performance with its latest run in October 2016 selling out five nights at London’s Freemasons’ Hall.
About the Prison Radio Association
The Prison Radio Association is the Third Sector Awards’ Charity of the Year 2016 and the winner of ten Sony Radio Academy Awards. It has revolutionised the way we communicate with prisoners. The charity runs National Prison Radio, the world’s first national radio station for prisoners.
National Prison Radio helps prisoners face up to the effects their actions have had on themselves, their families, victims and society as a whole. It helps people in prison to rebuild their lives in preparation for release.
99% of prisoners know about National Prison Radio
76% of prisoners listen regularly to National Prison Radio
80,000 prisoners can access National Prison Radio 24 hours a day, directly in their cells
PRA Chief Executive, Phil Maguire: firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate: justgiving.com/prisonradioassociation