London’s last women’s prison, HMP Holloway, closed in 2016. Families must now travel much further to visit female prisoners, a very high proportion of whom are from underprivileged backgrounds.
Enter Clean Break, a theatre company giving a much-needed voice to women with experience of criminal justice and the prison system. From its Kentish Town studios, artistic professionals and members engage in performance and writing projects to boost confidence. Clean Break’s supportive community tackles the isolation the justice system can cause, with 70 percent of its members going on to further education, volunteering or employment.
This spring, the organisation marks its fortieth anniversary with a special season of performances and collaborations. The main event is ‘Inside Bitch’, a Royal Court co-production playfully subverting TV portrayals of women in prison, performed by members. Go and see it – or donate or volunteer at Clean Break’s studios in Kentish Town. You’re sure to leave with a more rounded view of the city we live in.
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