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Female prisoners' play in crowdfunding bid for Edinburgh Fringe

A North East theatre company are looking for help to take their production to the fringe

A play devised by female prisoners in County Durham is coming to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and they're looking for your help to pay the bail.

Prisoners from HMPYOI Low Newton developed Key Change after it was commissioned by Dilly Arts, a non-profit organisation who specialise in working with prisoners in the North East.

The women performed it to their peers, and the response led to the play being re-developed by professional actors, and taken on tour to male prisons.

Prisoners at HMP Frankland hailed the show as "thought provoking and hard hitting", and a "brilliant performance which really reminded me of the man I once was".

After a string of sold-out performances in June last year, for which it was named the North East's Best Devised Piece by the British Theatre Guide, theatre company Open Clasp are crowdfunding to take it to the Fringe.

The play has been named number three in the 10 best things to see at the Fringe by the Radio Times, and they have eight days left to raise just over half of their £4,300 target.

The money will go towards funding the actor's stay during the performances, which form part of Northern Stage's residency at the Summerhall venue, and will also fund more workshops for women's groups in Edinburgh, including female prisoners.

Some of the perks of donating include personalised video messages and drinks with the cast, as well as tickets to the Fringe shows or to their return to the Live Theatre in Newcastle this September.

Open Clasp patron Charlie Hardwick, best known for playing Vall Pollard in Emmerdale, saw a rehearsal at Low Newton prison, and said she was "blown away" by the women.

​"The depiction of the story is gripping. The commitment and passion is palpable. [They] have created, are creating, a powerful, hard-hitting, inspiring, graceful, elegant, important drama."

Key Change runs at the Summerhall from 8 - 30 August. For more information and to book tickets, click here.