Sunday, 31 January 2010

L'amour est un oiseau rebelle

How to come back from yesterday's maudlin and, frankly depressing missive?

How about with something deliciously obscure?

Love is a rebellious bird, indeed. A rebellious jailbird, no less.

This flier came around the local area yesterday and has given rise to much interest and chat, not least of all because HMP Wandsworth is a men's prison, and unless I've missed something, Carmen is no fella.

So the good boys and ... um ... boys at Wandsworth Nick are putting on a series of performances of Carmen, tickets for which are now on sale to the public.

The ticket booking form makes it clear that no shenanigans will be entertained. You're to get there half an hour early, or not at all. You're to submit to a search of your bag and your person before you go in. You are absolutely not to take a mobile phone, alcohol, drugs or firearms with you. Bo-oo-ring! Opera just isn't opera without a drug induced 21 sawn-off-shotgun salute during the interval!

I can't shake the delicious mental image of one of the ladies escaping in full costume in the middle of the performance, in a chapter reminiscent of Mr Toad. Poop Poop!

Wandsworth has had it's fair share of celebrity residents over the years - Oscar Wilde started out here, before being shunted to Reading you know. They've had the honour of a visit from one of the Krays (I forget which one), and it's where Ronnie Biggs was when he decided that really enough was enough. Pete Doherty is in every couple of months or so - do you think it's too much to hope that there'll be a touch of the Babyshambles to one of the more upbeat numbers?

I'm all for a bit of prisoner rehabilitation. Do what you can to give the buggers no excuse for reoffending. Teach them a useful trade. Educate them. Let them put on a French opera over a series of nine nights ...

The thing is, that I might be just a little bit too morbidly curious to miss out. Anyone fancy coming with me ...?

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