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Philip Osment

Oberon Books

"Powerful drama… this funny and streetwise play gets under the skin of seven incarcerated dads who reluctantly join a prison drama group" –Caroline McGinn, Time Out London

"Philip Osment’s brave, funny helter skelter of a play, Inside offers a glimpse of young men in prison, all of them fathers. Cleverley staged by Osment and his co-director, Jim Pope, it reeks of sweat, piss, concrete and steel bars." –Lyn Gardner, Guardian

“A genuine drama of rich texture and revelation.” –Michael Coveney, What’

"Its impact on the audience was startling and, for me, it was a most convincing theatrical representation of life in prison" –Sir Ian McKellen


Looking for relief from boredom and a chance to get off the wing, seven young fathers in prison sign-up for an education program. They try to use the workshops to settle scores and to rise up the prison pecking order. But they're confronted with more than they'd bargained for, as they face up to their relationships with their children and their own fathers. Self-deceptions, vulnerabilities, and failed hopes and dreams are revealed, unleashing anger and violence that the workshop leaders struggle to contain. Researched in Rochester Prison with a young fathers group, the pilot project was devised at the National Youth Theatre in 2008 and was presented as Fathers Inside at Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institute and at the Soho Theatre to critical acclaim.


Brought up on a farm in North Devon, Philip Osment read Modern Languages at Keble College, Oxford and trained as an actor at Webber Douglas. He acted with leading alternative theatre companies including Gay Sweatshop, The Half Moon and Shared Experience and then went on to work as a director and writer. He has written and directed plays for two of the country's most prominent young people's theatre companies: Theatre Centre and Red Ladder.  At the same time his trilogy of Devon plays was commissioned by Mike Alfreds and produced by Cambridge Theatre Company (aka Method and Madness).  These were all nominated for Writers Guild awards and The Dearly Beloved won the award for best regional play in 1993.  More recently he directed for Graeae Theatre Co and his play Wise Guys was the inaugural production at the new Contact Theatre in Manchester in February. In January 2001 he is directing Blood Wedding in Manchester for Graeae.  His last play for Method and Madness, Buried Alive is to be revived at Plymouth Theatre Royal and Hampstead Theatre in 2001.


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