|20190327||What happens when perpetrators and victims of violent crimes come face to face?|
The Listening Room is a unique collaboration between the theatre company Crowded Room, the Prison Radio Association charity and BBC Radio 4. On the day of broadcast, The Listening Room is also being broadcast into the cells of 80,000 prisoners across England and Wales via National Prison Radio, the radio station for prisoners that aims to reduce reoffending.
The play tells, in their own words, the true stories of five people whose lives have been turned upside-down through violent crimes.
Playwright Harriet Madeley conducted original interviews with three victims and two perpetrators of serious violent offences - including murder, manslaughter and violent assault.
In each case, the victims and perpetrators describe not only the crimes themselves, but also what happened in the aftermath. Following trial and punishment, each was given the chance to meet the person on the other side in a process called Restorative Justice.
Their words have been turned into a script, and actors recite, word-for-word, their testimonies. During the recording, the actors listened to the original interviews through headphones as they spoke the words.
Each story is shocking in its own way, but all have one thing in common - the remarkable way both victims and perpetrators have shown a determination to move on from the crimes, in order that no further lives should be destroyed as a result of one disastrous decision.
Music: Jethro Cooke
Writer: Harriet Madeley (Crowded Room)
A PRA production for BBC Radio 4
Emotional drama about meetings between victims and perpetrators of three violent crimes.
Drama from BBC Radio 4