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The Long Walk Back: play about Chris Lewis has its first night behind bars | Matthew Engel

Former England all-rounder’s six years in prison are the subject of a new play – one that began its national tour in the confines of HMP Portland

It was not the easiest auditorium for the actors. The multi-faith centre was more like a corridor than a conventional theatre, so it required a mighty effort of projection for their voices to reach the back. It was not the easiest audience either.

Unused to theatre-going conventions, these playgoers kept up a constant hubbub - not the roars of a football crowd, though very much like the chatter of cricket-watchers. On the plus side, there was little chance of anyone walking out: nearly everyone in the room was a guest of Her Majesty, who takes a stern view of disappearing tricks.

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