Just when I thought it was safe to go back in the water…I found out that, over last weekend, the manager had been bad-mouthing me to a prisoner who was involved in the project. He said that I was to blame for the ‘them and us’. Strange… that didn’t exist when the original project governor was here. He’d come to rehearsals, keep the team updated and work with us. These ‘them and us’ problems started when another governor took over and allocated the project to that manager.
‘Them and us’ started when they destroyed the work the woodwork guys had done without any discussion, they screwed up the ticket allocation, which left us with only 30 prisoners per show, when they threw out the professional DVD company, when they stopped me from progressing the remainder of the project to enter into the Koestler competition. Nearly 6 months on from the shows and I still do not have a hard copy of my score and none of us have a CD of the show.
Enough is enough. I will be submitting a complaint to the No.1 Governor withdrawing my permission for this prison to use my work; namely, the rock opera: The 4 Lives of Jimmy G.
The project was always something more than just putting on some shows; it was about reminding us of the beauty which is inherent in life. It took a lot for me to allow other people to perform deeply personal work which took me 3 years to write. All these managers and governors have done is remind us of the ugliness of life. I do not want my work associated with such unpleasantness.
They are under the misguided impression that they own the performances; well, without my permission, they cannot do anything with the DVD ; which is a good thing, as they were intending to use it without any editing in case it “could lead to a misrepresentation of the performance as a whole,” whatever that means; how embarassing will this poor quality static camcorder recording be, with the awful audio it will come with.
As for the audio recordings, they were not made by the prison but someone who is not even employed by the prison; therefore, the prison (MoJ) have no copyright on the audio recordings. They really did not think this through when they started their petty little vendetta against me. I certainly cannot be accused of not being reasonable and patient but at some point a line has to be drawn.
Not only has this manager been unprofessional in criticising me to another prisoner but, had that prisoner been unstable, this could have led to me being violently assaulted; perhaps that was the intention?
Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 8th March 2018