BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival: Doing Time/Confinement

In association with Cafe Culture North East

Sage Two

A second batch of tickets will be released at 12noon on Friday 17 February.

In our fast moving, busy world it is hard – if not impossible – to imagine what it would be like to be incarcerated on our own. Captured in Beirut while working as an envoy for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Terry Waite spent five years as a hostage mostly held in solitary confinement.

The writer Erwin James served 20 years of a life sentence in prison before his release in 2004. They discuss the experience of isolation with Dr Cleo Van Velsen, a Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy. Chaired by Free Thinking presenter Anne McElvoy.

Terry Waite is a humanitarian campaigner and author. He remains actively involved with hostages and their families, as well as working with those on the margins of society. His latest books are Out of the Silence: Memories, Poems, Reflections and a 25th Anniversary Edition of his memoir Taken on Trust.

Dr Cleo van Velsen is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy with extensive experience in the assessment, management and treatment of those suffering with personality difficulties, violence and trauma.

Erwin James is a Guardian columnist and freelance writer and a trustee of the Prison Reform Trust. He is the author of A Life Inside: a Prisoner’s Notebook and his new book, Redeemable: a Memoir of Darkness and Hope.


For your information…

  • A second batch of tickets will be released at 12noon on Friday 17 February.
  • A restricted number of tickets will be available on the day on a first come first served basis.
  • Please take your seats 10 minutes prior to the event start time otherwise you may lose your place.


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