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Casting announced for The Jumper Factory at HMP Brixton, HMP Wandsworth and HOME Manchester

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE Young Vic has announced full casting for The Jumper Factory, which will be staged for prisoners in HMP Brixton and HMP Wandsworth in early September, before playing at HOME Manchester from September 10 to September 14, 2019.

Joining original company members Ayomide Adegun, Jake Mills, Pierre Moullier and Raphael Gwilliams-Akuwudike are Joe Haddad and Rasaq Kukoyi. The production is presented by a cast of young men aged from 18 – 25, whose lives have all been affected in some way by the criminal justice system.

I wait whilst the world carries on, whilst my family grow old, whilst my lovers move on, and I count down the days, and I wait…

How would you survive in prison?

Nearly two years ago, Young Vic Taking Part took the Young Vic’s production of The Brothers Size into HMP Wandsworth. The show was performed to several wings of the prison, and followed by a series of response workshops led by playwright Luke Barnes and director Justin Audibert.

The result of the workshops was the creation of a new piece of theatre – developed with eight of the prisoners and written by Luke Barnes – called The Jumper Factory. The show explored universal themes such as family, masculinity and redemption and told their stories of experience behind bars and the resilience they need to face a world that moves on without them.

Following the success of the performance at HMP Wandsworth, a future life was developed for the show. The Jumper Factory was performed by a company of young men aged 18-25 with little or no professional experience in acting and whose lives have all been affected in some way by the criminal justice system.

The show toured to venues around the UK including Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Bristol Old Vic and New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich in addition to a sell-out run at the Young Vic in London.

Rushand Chambers and Tej Obano from the original The Jumper Factory company have gone on to further professional work. Rushand Chambers joins the UK touring cast of Disney’s The Lion King, whilst Tej Obano secured new agent representation off the back of his performance in The Jumper Factory and has been cast in David Hare’s The Permanent Way at the Vaults in London.

This performance run at HOME Manchester marks the final staging with the rest of the original cast; many of them have secured agents, places at top schools including International Theatre School Jacques Lecoq and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, or further professional acting engagements.

The Jumper Factory was conceived by Young Vic Taking Part and Justin Audibert, written by Luke Barnes and directed by Josh Parr, with sound design by Mike Winship, lighting design by Jess Glaisher and costume design by Catherine Kodicek.