News

Alison’s story

Keshena Bowie

Alison was a company member from 2002 to 2006.  Here's her story...

My time at Geese was the most extraordinary and exhilarating learning curve. As a wide eyed new member, for three weeks one freezing cold January I had the privilege of observing Alun work with men in Full Sutton Prison on “Insult to Injury”. I remember the care and skill Al displayed as the group trusted him with their stories, let down their masks and grieved for the loss of their youth, their freedom, their hope. His stillness and grace as he witnessed their pain will stay with me for a lifetime. I was hooked. Blown away by the power of this work, by the dignity of the process, the way it allowed vulnerability in the most brutal of places.
All the work I have done since has been shaped and informed by my learning at Geese. After Geese, I co-founded Re-Live, a life story organisation, and have been delighted to collaborate with Andy Watson on our work with veterans and families over the last few years, and to benefit from the expertise and wisdom of Clark as we developed our life story training programme.
For me, Geese was profound, challenging, heart-breaking and full of dark humour and resilience. Deep friendships made, tough lessons learnt, countless extraordinary experiences and memories.
I also met my husband there so thank you Geese in many ways!

The story of a Journey

Keshena Bowie

“I thought you were all going to be a bunch of civvy c****s, but actually you’re alright…”

In 2016, K took part in JourneyMan, a week long programme designed to address wellbeing and confidence for people in custody, particularly those who might be at risk of suicide or deliberate self-harm.

After working with Geese over 5 days, L was clearly inspired.  A week later, we received an email from a staff member at the prison to say that K was going to run a marathon for us, on a treadmill in the prison gym!

K raised over £400 in sponsorship, mostly from his fellow prisoners.  The average working prisoner earns about £10 a week so K must have been very convincing in telling people why he needed their sponsorship money!

 

Sponsorship and donations allow us to deliver projects, like JourneyMan, that inspire, motivate and change the perceptions of people in prison.  Can you support us to do more?

Post-show discussion: Our Country’s Good at REP Birmingham

Keshena Bowie

We will be delivering a post-show discussion following the below performance of Our Country's Good on 23rd May 2018 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Wednesday 23rd May 2018 - 19:30

Venue: Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Presented by A Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company, in co-production with Ramps on the Moon.

Both a comedy and a powerful drama, Our Country's Good shows us how we can escape the chains that bind us.

In 1787, ships each with over 700 convicts on board set sail on an eight month voyage. When they arrive in Australia, their survival is by no means certain: supplies are running out, the convicts are stealing food or trying to escape and the guards are threatening mutiny.

Our Country's Good tells the extraordinary true story of a group of convicts and a young officer who rehearse and perform a play - Australia's first theatrical production. With opposition from the officers and a leading lady who may be hanged, the odds are stacked against them.


This is a great opportunity to hear about our work delivering theatre-based projects in prison settings. Our CEO Andy will provide a fascinating insight into a theatre world that is often hidden and discuss the modern challenges and opportunities that we face. There will also be a brief demonstration of our work.

Tickets are available from the REP website we are pleased to be able to offer tickets for £10 - just use the code COUNTRYGEESE at checkout.

The code is only valid for the 23rd May performance, and there is a limit of two tickets per person
This production of Our Country's Good is presented by A Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company, in co-production with Ramps on the Moon.  Geese are not performing, we will be presenting the post show discussion only.

The Art of Recovery Symposium at mac Birmingham

Keshena Bowie

Geese is turning 30 and as part of a series of special events,  we will be hosting The Art of Recovery - a symposium exploring the value of the arts in recovery - at the Hexagon Theatre, mac Birmingham on 09 May 2018.

The Art of Recovery

Wednesday 09 May 2018 - 1:15pm to 4:00pm

Venue: Hexagon Theatre, mac Birmingham

What is the value of the arts for people in recovery? What do people in recovery contribute to the arts? 

1:30pm - Geese Theatre Company's community ensemble, Staging Recovery, will start the symposium with a performance, followed by a Q&A with the cast
2:15pm - break
2:30pm - Paul Bayes Kitcher will introduce the work of Fallen Angels Dance Theatre
2:50pm - in discussion with a Staging Recovery ensemble member
3:00pm - panel discussion exploring the value of arts for people in recovery, and what people in recovery can contribute to the arts. Confirmed panel: Paul Bayes Kitcher(Fallen Angels Dance Theatre), Andy Watson (Geese Theatre Company), Carly Jones(SIFA Fireside) and Vicky Price (Wolverhampton Grand Theatre)

This is a free event but with limited capacity, so we advise you reserve your place now by clicking here.  When booking tickets, there will be an opportunity to submit a question for the panel.

Panel Members

Paul Bayes Kitcher 
Artistic Director,
Fallen Angels Dance Theatre

Previously a dancer for Scottish Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, in 2011 Paul founded Fallen Angels Dance Theatre. Paul delivers participatory projects within addiction/recovery rehabilitation, community settings and criminal justice settings. 

Vicky Price
Associate Director,
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Vicky began her career at The Birmingham Rep and moved to Wolverhampton Grand Theatre in 2009 where she is now Associate Director of Development and Communications.  The Grand are currently working in partnership with Geese and the Haven, Wolverhampton, delivering a creative project with women who have experience of domestic abuse.

Andy Watson
CEO, 
Geese Theatre Company

Andy joined Geese Theatre Company in 1997 and became Artistic Director in 2003. He is the current Vice-Chair of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance and sits on the Women's Prison Estate Advisory Group. Andy received an MBE for services to the arts in Criminal Justice in the 2018 New Year's Honours. 

Carly Jones
CEO,
SIFA Fireside

Carly has more than twelve years’ experience in the voluntary sector at local, national and international organisations that support some of society’s most marginalised groups. She is currently CEO at SIFA Fireside which assists homeless and vulnerably housed adults in Birmingham.