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AA Gill Stitchers Play Esther Freud

The debut play by bestselling novelist Esther Freud.

"It marks the playwriting debut of subtle and insightful novelist Esther Freud"


Evening Standard

“Extraordinary and inspiring... leaves you both triumphant, and thinking harder about prison than most people do. Result”


"Sinéad Cusack is outstanding in Esther Freud's prison drama”


The Guardian

Stitchers plat

Stitchers explores the problems at the heart of our penal system. Based on a true story, Stitchers features an extraordinary central character, an unlikely meeting of two very different worlds, and a script that is by turns brilliantly funny and deeply moving.

Stitchers tells the true story of wild and irreverent Lady Anne Tree. Who against all odds, pushes her way into high security prisons and teaches ‘lifers’ skilled embroidery.

The much beloved high society maverick traded in luncheons and village fetes to campaign tirelessly for hardened criminals. The men come to class after 23 hour bang up. Riled and delirious, she disarms them with the finer details of needlepoint.

We watch them put down their weapons, and surrender their fury. Maroon wool and artichoke kits keep the peace.

Stitchers Play Esther Freud

"Hard men, soft furnishings was how AA Gill described Fine Cell Work. And so the seed of Stitchers had been planted. I was a regular visitor at the sewing class at one of London’s high security prisons. What I saw was sobering. Loneliness, violence, confusion, despair...

But in one small room, on Tuesday afternoons there is the hum of quiet industry, instruction in running stitch, back stitch, cross stitch.”


Esther Freud

Discover the Fine Cell Work designs with starring roles in Stitchers.

Stitchers tells the story of charity and founder of 'Fine Cell Work', Lady Anne Tree.

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