25 years ago this week: Thursday, February 5, 1987

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CREATIVE writing in a prison may not sound the easiest task, but for Mick Yates being a ‘writer in residence’ is a rewarding challenge.

Castington Youth Centre is hosting Mick, who hails from Nottingham, to write plays, study inmates’ writing and talk to them about writing.

Mick is three weeks into his six-month contract and already finds the work very rewarding.

“Already this week I have seen two lads who are showing definite potential as actors and a lot of inmates have brought me work to look at and made appointments to see me,” said Mick.

At the end of the six months there will be a final production in the form of a play and the idea is one Mick finds tremendously important as part of his job.

“Any theatrical production involves many people working very closely alongside each other as a team, getting things done,” he said.

“Everyone has a contribution to make even if it’s putting a prop on a stage.

“The men will be able to work with each other, trust each other and rely on each other.

“The end production will be something for the outside world to see to get rid of the stereotyped images of prisons and custody centres.”

Already Mick has begun work on a video concerning hooliganism, showing what he describes as the reality of it all.

“TV worsens the hooligan situation by glamourisng it and creating a snowball effect,” he said.

“The video will show the reality of hooliganism with men ending up in prison.”

Warders and prisoners will be taking part in the video.