After a highly successful first year, Middlesex Theatre students have completed another run of original site-specific performances in collaboration with Masters students at Mountview Academy. Led by internationally-renowned practitioner Geraldine Pilgrim, this opportunity to create work in a uniquely historic location has led to a second year of one-of-a-kind experiences for students and invited audiences.
HMP Holloway is a landmark in north London, where its rich and complex history as a women’s prison, closed since 2016, has influenced the surrounding area. The performances took inspiration from the history of the site and its former residents, which include Myra Hindley, Ruth Ellis and Oscar Wilde.
The venue presents distinct challenges for both performance and design, with decaying spaces and labyrinthine hallways. As a result, most performances took a promenade style, with Theatre Performance students leading audiences from space to space.
Theatre Design students also worked intensively to build and maintain the varied sets within the site, creating incredible tableaux against the bleak backdrops of the prison building.
The creative partnership between Middlesex, Mountview and Geraldine Pilgrim is set to continue into its third year, with the focus shifting to an abandoned building in Archway, which was once part of Middlesex’s former campus there.