A captive audience

BBC spotlight on inmates' comedy

Stand-up Rudi Lickwood's attempts to bring comedy to prison inmates is to be screened on BBC3 later this month.

A documentary about his work in HMP Brixton - Banged Up Stand Up - was commissioned as part of the Fresh strand, which showcases the work of first-time film-makers.

The programme follows Lickwood for nine days as he runs a course for 12 inmates, at the end of which they stage a comedy show inside the jail.

It concentrates on three of Lickwood’s ‘students’ – 30-year-old drug addict John whose longest stretch outside jail in the last 16 years lasted just 12 months, 41-year-old Vincent  who is serving ten months for burglary, and 38-year-old pickpocket Lee, who has spent 15 of the last 20 years inside.

Lickwood, who has been running such workshops in prison for the past five years, helps the inmates produce a stand-up or sketch routine by drawing on their own lives, using improvisation to generate ideas and encourage them to work together.

The show, directed by Lisa Smith, will air in the week from March 21, although the exact date has yet to be confirmed.


Published: 1 Mar 2005

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