Key Change

Theatre Review by Raymond Helkio, The Reading Salon


Key Change is a raw and illuminating portrayal of prison life created by inmates from Her Majesties Prison Low Newton (HMPLN), a closed prison for female offenders, which later toured within the men’s prison system.

If you combined Women of Cell Block H with Clockwork Orange you’d come up with something close to the highly creative and fast-paced Key Change with it’s unapologetic story fuelled by top-notch actors who dive deep into the emotionally complex subject matter. A poignant and moving portrait of a failing prison system that, instead of rehabilitating  offenders, is literally crushing the lives of women who have already suffered extraordinary abuses. What do we expect when we take a woman who has been abused and toss her into prison?

Lacking safety and support she is doomed within a system that acts like quick sand, sending its victims in search of escape through one of the most realistic expressions of Heroin use I have seen on stage. I did expect that the characters would develop or grow but they didn’t and that may have been the point. Go see Key Change, its a raw, riveting and intense journey that will stay with you long after the performance.

Key Change
4th Street Theatre, NYC
until January 31st, 2016

Directed by Laura Lindow, written by Catrina McHugh, Key Change won the Carol Tambor ‘Best of Edinburgh’ Award 2015. Cast: Angie: Jessica Johnson, Lucy: Cheryl Dixon, Kelly: Christina Berriman Dawson, Kim: Judi Earl and Lorraine: Victoria Copeland

By Raymond Helkio

Raymond Helkio is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design, whose work has been shown at international film, theatre, and design festivals including Inside Out Film Festival, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Design Exchange, Videofag, Art Gallery of Ontario, Glad Day Bookshop, Artscape and Nuit Rose.

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