The documentary style comedy is set in the fictional female prison, HMP Woldsley.
Writer and creator Tate plays multiple characters from Laura Willis, the Governor who believes creativity leads to rehabilitation, to Big Viv, the psychopath lifer.
Set over a 6 week period during which the inmates rehearse a musical directed by ex-Eastender’s star Cheryl Fergison. Rehearsals draw together an oddball collection of women as they find their voices, grow in confidence and strengthen their friendships.
Funny yet surprisingly moving, ‘Hard Cell’ leans into the comical truth of prison life.
Learn more about the characters below:
- LAURA is HMP Woldsley’s governor. A self-styled prison reformer convinced staging musicals will provide a platform for her belief that creativity leads to rehabilitation. Her detractors would describe her as a ‘bleeding heart liberal in kitten heels’, a description she wouldn’t hate.
- ROS is a popular, bouncy inmate who idolises her mother. Loves her prison wife Suds, pretends to love her penpal boyfriend Sebastian but is in fact, rinsing him for all he’s worth. What? It’s not her fault that people are so trusting.
- ANGE is a timid first timer. An innocent, struggling to adapt to her new environment, her meekness making her easy prey. But she lives by her mantra “People are inherently good” and despite her misfortune, she overcomes her fears, settles in and even finds her prison walk.
- BIG VIV is terrifying, feared by inmates and prisoners alike. Violent, unpredictable and singing is her happy place – everything you’d want in a cell mate. A devoted fan of the Kardashians, with whom she identifies deeply, Vivienne develops a passion for theatre as she becomes involved with the musical.
- MARCO is a guard from Essex. He got down to the last 32 on Love Island so he’s got nothing to prove. More committed to his appearance than his job, which he only took because he can get to work without changing tubes.
- ANNE MARIE is Ros’ mother. A tough, mean, ex-con, who visits her daughter whenever she has run out of money. Contemptuous and scathing, she takes full advantage of her daughter’s unconditional love.