Tina Jay premieres her new prison drama Held at the Tristan Bates Theatre

Playwright Tina Jay takes another look at Britain’s prison system with the premiere of her new play, Held, at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre.

Directed by Richard Elson, Held has been developed from Jay’s earlier work, Walking, which was winner of the Windsor Fringe Kenneth Branagh Award, and Dog City which played at the capital’s Lost Theatre.

Said Jay: “Held is set in a modern UK prison, facing all the crises and failing living conditions we have recently seen in the news.

“The story explores the desperate, broken lives of five inmates and the chains that bind them”.

The uncompromising tale explores the harsh reality of an adult prison. The younger inmates discover nothing is free and soon fall prey to the rules and control of the older prisoners.

Held stars Jack Brett Anderson (Wolfblood, Don’t Hang Up, King Edward II at Rose Theatre), Duran Fulton Brown (Jason Bourne, Jekyll & Hyde, The Accident at The Lyric) and Anthony Taylor (Romeo and Juliet at The National, Sweet Bird of Youth at The Old Vic, Kick Ass 2) who will be playing multiple parts in the play.

Said Anderson: “The play encapsulates a world that is hard hitting and raw. The environment the characters grew up in led them astray and they live in a system that feeds off their despair.

“I’m excited to get the chance to bring these characters to life.”

Tina was the winner of the International Student Playscript Competition for Rotten Apples, performed at The Royal Exchange, Manchester.

Her additional theatre credits include London Boys (Greenwich Theatre), Blue (The Park), and Lethal Combination (Rich Mix).

Dog City was recently selected for Drama Scriptroom 10 with the BBC Writersroom.

Held runs at the Tristan Bates Theatre, Covent Garden from June 6-17 June.

Held trailer from Richard Elson on Vimeo.

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