for Arts
& Culture
Theatre | Birmingham

Geese Theatre Company

Geese Theatre Company is a team of theatre practitioners who present interactive theatre and facilitate drama-based groupwork, staff training, conference performances and consultation across the secure estate for adults and young people and with related social welfare organisations.  Community projects include work with people in recovery from multiple and complex issues, including offending histories, homelessness, substance misuse and domestic abuse.

Geese Theatre Company

© Geese Theatre Company

Geese Theatre Company

© Geese Theatre Company

Target Beneficiaries

Geese works with individuals who have experience of the criminal justice system, people with multiple and complex needs and those who work with them. These individuals are usually identified through partner and commissioning organisations.

Projects and interventions aim to support participants to develop new skills, to understand the consequences of their actions and to consider roles useful for their futures; exploring issues including substance misuse, prison debt and violence, suicide and deliberate self-harm, resettlement, domestic abuse or parenting.

Training and conferences bring to life theory, research or agency procedure, encouraging practitioners to explore the implications of their work for ‘real people’, enabling greater understanding of best working practices and the issues affecting those they work with.


Interactive performances: bring issues to life, creating a lively forum for the exploration of characters and their motivations.  Stories reflect those of the audience and encourage engagement with the topics being discussed.

Groupwork projects: use theatre to explore, discuss and problem-solve issues in a supportive and safe environment. Participants ‘learn by doing’ through active and experiential sessions (rather than just discussing), exploring situations closely related to their own life experiences. Scene work and role play are used as problem-solving tools to find new solutions and strategies to replace old behaviours and to practise and rehearse new skills.

Creative projects: work with participants to create a performance, film or other ‘sharing’ for audiences of staff, peers and, where possible, friends and family.

All projects and performances are delivered by Geese’s in-house team of practitioners, all of whom are permanent employees who undergo a six-month training programme followed by ongoing reflection and improvement of practice.

The company is widely acknowledged as being one of the key organisations championing the role of the arts in the Criminal Justice System and has been the subject of two nationally broadcast documentaries. Geese has won:

  • BAFTA Interactive Award
  • Barclays New Stages Award
  • Investor in People Award
  • Butler Trust Certificate for a theatre-based offending behaviour programme

In 2017 the company’s Artistic Director/CEO received an MBE for Services to the Arts in the Criminal Justice System.


The success of Geese’s 2017/18 Reconnect programme at HMP Whatton led the prison to readapt their resettlement process. Reconnect is now included as part of a two-week course which supports the resettlement of men into the community.

For over 15 years, Geese’s Artistic Director helped to drive the sector forward and keep the arts in criminal justice on the agenda by supporting the Criminal Justice Arts Alliance as a member of their Steering Group (of which he was Vice-Chair for the past 6 years).

Last year Geese was commissioned by the National Probation Service Effective Probation Practice Division to create a performance based on Dr Jane Monckton Smith’s research on domestic homicide. This was shared with National Probation Service (NPS) and Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) staff across the UK. The piece, called The Last Word uses a fictional case study to highlight how important it is to recognise the eight stages perpetrators move through, as identified by Dr Monckton Smith in all 300 cases she reviewed.

National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice Evidence Library


Helped change my life

Project participant

We too are very pleased with what Geese Theatre Company has delivered so far at [name of prison], and even more importantly the feedback that I have received, those who have engaged in the programme (although early days) have found it beneficial and our staff that took part also enjoyed and learnt from being part of it, and would welcome the opportunity to deliver more projects/programmes...we believe locally that through your approach, we could address many of the issues that our men face.

Head of Business and Community Engagement


Many local and national trusts and foundations including Paul Hamlyn Foundation, BBC Children in Need, The Bromley Trust and The William Adlington Cadbury Trust.