The Jumper Factory


By Luke Barnes

Conceived by Young Vic Taking Part and Justin Audibert

Directed by Josh Parr

This smart, astute piece of theatre was developed with the Young Vic and inmates from Wandsworth Prison in May 2018. Originally performed in the prison using actors cast from young men whose lives have been impacted by the criminal justice system, The Jumper Factory has subsequently toured successfully and is currently on lockdown at HOME.

This piece is beautifully directed by Josh Parr giving all six young men on stage to shine as they converse together or step forward individually to take the spotlight. The blend of jarring soundscape and lighting blocks by Jess Glaisher that evoke prison cells interspersed with movement sequences works really effectively.

This work using verbatim story telling gives a fresh perspective on passing the time of day as we see how structure or lack of it can make or break an inmate. The boredom and the waiting between prison visits coupled with the anxiety of life and loved ones carrying on without them or with someone new is vividly evoked. The random nature of who you share a cell with and the consequences good or bad for an individual is sharply observed. Regardless of the crime whether theft, GBH or chasing a fox, prison will change you and not always for the better despite its intended reform approach.

The six performers on stage do a great job of bringing the varying experiences of inmates at HMP Wandsworth to life. Shame, embarrassment, fear, boredom, anticipation, hope and despair runs through this work. The Jumper Factory is a potent reminder of the importance and the impact of time misspent, or valued and well spent regardless of where we are.

HOME 10TH- 14TH SEP 2019



Written and performed by Kieran Hurley

A desk, table top sound equipment, a candle in the darkness and a barefoot man in a suit. The rest is sound. A rich, melodic voice talking, talking, talking. Shifts of tempo, tales of random souls and the drip, drip, drip of impending doom. 

This 2016 Fringe Award winner is hypnotic storytelling but this is no bedtime story by candlelight, it is a ferocious and visceral assault. A tale of an apocalyptic event with a slow burning fuse that fizzes through four lives photoshoped from the media.

Mercy works in Futures and sees Armageddon coming, preaching a warning to others and seeming unhinged in her desperation. Ash is 13 and slut shamed in school, cringing in a toilet cubicle as her fragile teenage identity implodes. Abdullah is stoned and paranoid as he smiles and smiles pouring drinks in a  corporate coffee house. Leon is a coke fuelled pop star saving icebergs and bees in a fugue of media hype while his girlfriend gives birth alone.

These characters are fragmented elements of all of us. Their stories collide and connect and are reframed as the apocalypse shakes down our existence and our humanity. The sonic boom is deafening and seems to go on forever then bleeds into exquisite choral music. As Mercy repeats her mantra What we have is  now everything changes and we adapt as we always have.

Hurley is a gifted writer and a skilful storyteller. There is poetry is every gesture and anguished expression. This is a performance in which he wrings out every drop of self. The result may not be to everyones taste but at best it makes you wake up and really feel alive.
At Home until 20th May then touring.