Roughshod in Prisons

Riding Lights Roughshod has a 20 year history of touring to prisons and offers full-scale performances and theatre workshops in prisons and young offenders institutions.


Over the past two years Roughshod has performed and led workshops in HMP Northumberland, HMP Durham, HMP New Hall, HMP Swaleside, HMP Parc, HMP Highpoint, HMP Wayland, HMP Kirkland, HMP Buckley Hall, HMP Wymott, HMP Rochester, HMP Wandsworth, HMP Haverigg, HMP Whatton, HMP Nottingham, HMP Glen Parva, HMP Ford and HMP Wealstun.

Roughshod offers a highly entertaining and vibrant 45 minute show based on a variety of storytelling techniques. The company always allows time following the performance to talk individually with prisoners, and to encourage and discuss any questions which have been raised by the performance.

Our performances come from a Christian perspective but aim to address the universal themes of forgiveness, reconciliation, restorative justice and self-esteem as well as that of the Christian faith. We have found that prisoners of all faiths and none find the work entertaining, interesting and challenging.

Funding to support the company’s prison work comes, in part, from awards made by trusts specifically for that purpose and from donations made as a result of Roughshod’s other touring performances. This year Riding Lights is grateful for a grant awarded by the Anchor Foundation.

Interested in booking a Roughshod prisons performance or workshop? Email us or download the ‘Roughshod in Prisons PDF’

What Staff have said…

‘The message was powerful and it was delivered so well with the build up of sketches to the hard hitting restorative elements it contained. I sat and watched the men’s faces and demeanour as the performance built and I bear witness to the power of a delivery that reached into the hearts and souls of everyone in the audience. I felt very proud and humbled at the same time yesterday – so thank you so very much.’

Prison Governor

‘The prisoners were very appreciative of the whole afternoon – performance and workshop. At the end of the afternoon a number of prisoners asked if we could do more of this throughout out the year. I was impressed with the content of the sketches and it was clear that many of the prisoners were visibly moved. I haven’t seen this group so animated and alive  in their responses before in such a positive way…’

Revd Mark Savage

Church of England Chaplain

‘I have learnt so much about these guys just in this workshop it’s astounding and I’ve been working with them for a while now, so thank you for getting them to open up more’

Chaplain, HMP Wandsworth

‘In the restorative justice one all the guys were totally riveted, the guys next to me couldn’t catch his breath because he was so taken a back and engaged with it’

Chaplain, HMP Exeter

‘The workshop was inspirational and will have sown some significant seeds in the lives of some very needy guys.’

Chaplain, HMP Whatton

What Prisoners have said…

‘That was incredible, never seen anything like it’

HMP Farnland

‘I’d never thought of my victims parents, I never thought how they could forgive me’

‘That was basically my life, you just performed’

‘I’ve been in here eight months and it’s the best day I’ve had’

Swinfen Hall YOI

‘It’ll stay with the guys here. You remember stuff like this, we will all go back to our pads, get locked up and think about this, and I will laugh and cry. Thank you for giving us something worthwhile to think about’

HMP Kirkham

The one about the stabbing made me think about my victim for the first time. Id really like to write to my victim and sort things out of I can because that.

HMP Northumberland