September 2020


In February of 2020 we were granted ACE funding to research and develop our latest show, The Way Things Are. The R&D was due to take place in April, but was postponed to September due to the pandemic.


Mark has made some questionable decisions in life. And he’s served his time. But now he sits in his one-bedroom flat, back in a society he feels wasn’t designed for him. Sarah has always played by the rules and ticked all the boxes.  They couldn’t be more different. But a chance encounter might show them just how similar they are. The Way Things Are explores themes of belonging, pressure to conform, friendship, and how maybe it’s time to question the way things are.

The Way Things Are is a piece exploring the complexities and issues facing those recently released from the prison system. Writer and director, Rachel McMurray has worked with offenders in various prisons across the UK for the last seven years, and it is here that the idea for this piece was born.


Statistically, about 75% of ex-prisoners reoffend within nine years of release, and 40% within the first twelve months. We wanted to explore why this is. What does institutionalisation look like, what support is available, what is the potential impact of feeling that you’re living in a society that wasn’t necessarily designed for you?


We explored these themes with script work and improvisation, as well as multimedia in the form of soundscapes, recordings and projection by Grant Archer. We also introduced CPD opportunities for two local emerging artists to shadow our R&D process and gain insight into how we make theatre.

We look forward to bringing this piece to audiences once Covid-19 restrictions allow.





Multimedia Artist:


Rachel McMurray

Ned Cooper

Catherine Morefield

Rachel McMurray

Catherine Morefield

Grant Archer

Tracey Gibbs