Theatre review – Mercy Fine

Mercy Fine
Shelley Silas
Southwark Playhouse
Run ended


Each year the Clean Break theatre company commissions a play researched in a women’s prison and with ex-offenders. In this stunning play Mercy Fine waits for her release date from prison and is haunted by her past which will pursue her into the future, writes Sue Oliver.

The play depicts the devastating circumstances in families leading to the moment when crimes are committed and the consequences, but also the companionship and friendships that develop between women as they support each other in order to survive.

There is a sense of hope for those involved: Mercy (Hazel Holder) with her fine sense of justice; Frehia (Bindya Solanki) high on mania and life, and whose rap is a highlight; Viv (Louise Bangay) with her effortless show of strength and vulnerability acted as a foil to Mercy’s innocence. The play is a reminder of the reality for women and their families as they negotiate prison life.

Sue Oliver is a family court adviser with Cafcass

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