About Us

Our Story

Clean Break was set up in 1979 by two women prisoners who believed that theatre could bring the hidden stories of imprisoned women to a wider audience. Still the only women’s theatre company of its kind, Clean Break has remained true to these roots, and we continue to inspire playwrights and captivate audiences with our groundbreaking plays on the complex theme of women and crime. For further information on the early years of the company click here.

Our theatre-based education and training programme is integral to our ethos. For more than three decades, we have delivered high-quality theatre-based courses, awarded qualifications and offered specialist support, all of which are critical for the rehabilitation of women with experience of the criminal justice system. Run in prisons and from our women-only building in Kentish Town, our training and education programme helps participants to develop personal, social, professional and creative skills that often lead to education and employment. 

Clean Break’s women-only identity is crucial to our rationale. The treatment of women by the criminal justice system is one of the clearest demonstrations that our society is still unequal and that women are judged by different standards to men. Most women offenders have experienced male violence and are victims of crime, yet first-time women offenders are twice as likely as men to be sent to prison. Our vision is of a society where women are neither unjustly criminalised nor unnecessarily imprisoned, and we believe that theatre enables women to challenge their oppression by society in general and by the criminal justice system in particular.

Clean Break uses theatre to keep the subject of women in prison on the cultural radar, helping to reveal the damage caused by the failures of the criminal justice system. Through our unique repertory of new plays and our education programmes, we raise difficult questions, inspire debate, and help to effect profound and positive change in the lives of women with experience of the criminal justice system.

Learn more about women and the criminal justice system at the
Prison Reform Trust and Women in Prison websites
Read about Clean Break’s early history at Unfinished Histories

Read More


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Sally Muckley
Head of Development and Communications

Lillian Ashford

Lillian Ashford
Senior Development Manager

Caro Boss

Caro Boss
Marketing Coordinator (Maternity Leave)

Lorraine Faissal

Lorraine Maher
Creative Learning Manager

Emily Goodyer

Emily Goodyer
Development Manager

Lucy Grant

Lucy Grant
Administration and Building Manager

Carole Jarvis

Carole Jarvis
Student Support Worker

Lauren Mooney

Lauren Mooney
Executive Assistant and Literary Producer

selina mayer

Selina Mayer
Finance Manager

samantha mcneil

Samantha McNeil
Volunteer Coordinator

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Ashleigh-Rose Harman
Marketing Assistant (Maternity Cover)

Our Board

Development Committee

Charlotte Kemp
Alison Jefferis
Anna Greenacre
Phoebe Reith
Gillian Jones
Sarah Jeffs
Alice Millest
Anna Payton

Our Patrons

Ann Mitchell, Hon.Doc.of Arts UEL
Baroness Usha Prashar CBE
Dame Harriet Walter DBE
Emma Thompson
Lia Williams
Yve Newbold LLB
Barbara Hosking CBE
Baroness Vivien Stern CBE
Dame Janet Suzman DBE
Joan Scanlon
Lord Paul Boateng
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
Carmen Callil
Dame Judi Dench DBE
Kevin McGrath OBE
Sir Richard Eyre CBE
Sonali Naik

Current Opportunities


We’re always on the lookout for people to join our year-round Volunteer programme, which takes in everything from workshop skills and arts administration to catering and gardening. You’ll get the opportunity to develop your skills and confidence in a welcoming environment, while also learning more about the way we work. To find out more, come along to one of our regular Volunteer Days or email Samantha McNeil, our Volunteer Coordinator, at samantha.mcneil@cleanbreak.org.uk or call 020 7482 8600. 

"There is a positive energy about the place which makes it a lovely place to work."
Education Volunteer, February 2017

 Vacancies & Volunteering

Marketing and Communications Volunteer
Emotional health and Wellbeing Volunteer
Building and Admin Volunteer