RE-CHARGED is a series of three short plays produced in conjunction with women prisoners, each one shining a light on life inside or the forces that led them there.
Produced by the theatre company Clean Break, which has been working in women's centres and prisons for more than 30 years, they are a moving and often funny look at women caught up in a brutal world and often equally brutal justice system.
Fatal Light, written by Chloe Moss and directed by Lucy Morrison, is the first of the trio and also the most powerful.
It opens with a young policewoman breaking the news to a mother that her daughter has committed suicide in jail.
In a series of flashbacks we meet the daughter, herself a delusional but loving mother, and slowly discover the cracks in their relationship.
We also meet the young granddaughter, clinging to her childhood as she struggles to hold her mentally fragile mother above water.
The grief is very real but the play is also shot through with moments of great tenderness as the family struggle to express their love against the odds.
Ashley McGuire is particularly impressive as the grandmother Maggie. In one touching but funny scene, she even manages to imbue the trite sentiment on a 'women's' tea bag with great emotional charge.
Dancing Bears, a fast-paced journey into the heart of male and female street gangs, is inventively brought to life by director Tessa Walker.
From the moment aspiring young footballer Aaron shuffles onstage amidst a glowing forest of beer crates, spouting forth about the 'beautiful game', there's a magnetic beauty to proceedings.
Hoodies transform origami-style into babies and boozed-up lads mutate into young mothers as we discover the difference between 'family' to gangs and to the young brother and sister caught up in street life.
The final play, Rebecca Lenkiewicz's That Almost Unnameable Lust, puts the audience on trial.
A writer visits a women's jail, where we meet two very different prisoners - mute, sensitive Katherine and Liz, a joker with verbal diarrhoea.
Their stories of the domestic abuse which put them there slowly emerge, no thanks to the young scribe who finds herself out of her depth in a series of tense but funny writing sessions.
We also learn how, in a grey prison, populated by grey faces, Katherine seeks relief in self-harm - a glitter ball effect illuminating the power of the 'hit' like something out of Trainspotting.
It's an uncomfortable but rewarding half-hour, which highlights the incredible work behind these plays and suggests they can only ever offer a glimpse into lives the audience will never fully understand.
Recharged is at Soho Theatre until April 9.