14th December 2016

On Wednesday 14th December 2016, to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Prison Radio Association, Letters Live presented LETTERS FROM THE INSIDE – a truly unique show that took place in the chapel of Her Majesty’s Prison, Brixton.

Over the course of the evening a diverse cast of great performers that included two ex-prisoners and one serving prisoner brought to life letters written by people from all walks of life, including previously unseen correspondence from the pens of inmates. Tom Odell performed two rousing and very fitting versions of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’ and Joe Cocker’s ‘The Letter.’

Our most intimate show to date, LETTERS FROM THE INSIDE was in aid of the Prison Radio Association – Third Sector’s 2016 Charity of the Year – and the show was broadcast live on National Prison Radio to 110 prisons across England and Wales. Founded in 2006, Prison Radio Association run National Prison Radio – the world’s only national radio station for prisoners. Aiming to harness the power of media to reduce crime, National Prison Radio broadcasts into the cells of 80,000 prisoners, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


The Show

Jamie Byng
(Read here)

Tom Odell
The Letter
(Joe Cocker)

Russell Brand
Five accidents in two minutes
(Fred Allen to the State of NY Insurance Dept)

Kate Tempest
You are worthy
(Maria to National Prison Radio)

Michael Balogan
Brown is as pretty as white
(WEB  Du Bois to Yolande Du Bois)

Mariella Frostrup
The Matchbox
(Sylvia Townsend Warner to Alyse Gregory)

Mark Strong
I miss her no less each day
(John to National Prison Radio)

Benedict Cumberbatch
He is not a forgiving cat
(John Cheever to Josie Herbst)

Olivia Colman
Fortunately, I had my new radio
(Mary Grant to A. Walker)

Clarke Peters
My Dungeon Shook
(James Baldwin to his nephew)

Matt Berry
Happy New Year!!!
(Gary to National Prison Radio)

Julia Howard
Don’t give up
(Jane Fonda to her younger self)

Russell Brand
I do occasionally eat
(Lucian Freud to Lynn Barber)

Michael Bologan
The help is out there
(Anthony to National Prison Radio)

Clarke Peters & Kate Tempest
Hang on, my love
(Iggy Pop to Laurence)

Mark Strong
I am no longer a lonely soul
(Bertrand Russell to Colette O’Niel)

Kate Tempest
Brand New Ancients

Benedict Cumberbatch & Olivia Colman
I am so close behind you
(Leonard Cohen to Marianne Ihlen)

Tom Odell
I shall be released
(Bob Dylan)