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TSO at Risdon Prison

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra is collaborating with staff, volunteers and inmates from Risdon Prison on a unique creative writing and performance project, Convict Monologues. Over the course of ten months inmates will research, write and perform a series of monologues inspired by the life and times of convicts from the age of early Australian colonisation, exploring how they overcame adversity and forged successful lives in Tasmania post transportation.

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra has commissioned composer Chris Williams, a two-time graduate of the elite Australian Composers’ School, to compose incidental music for the performance. Six TSO musicians will perform live and record the musical score for inclusion in future performances of Convict Monologues.

Convict Monologues will engage, educate and inspire inmates through an ongoing series of classes coordinated by playwright, author and ABC Hobart content-maker Paul McIntyre and Risdon Prison Sport and Recreation Officer Natasha Woods. Inmates will work through a process of professional script development as well as attending presentations by guest tutors.

TSO Managing Director Nicholas Heyward said, ‘This project exemplifies the broad scope of the outreach work that the TSO undertakes in the community. I’m delighted that Chris Williams is taking such a key role; his involvement demonstrates the value of the investment we make in national elite musicians’ training.’