About Us — Clean Break

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Clean Break was founded by two women in prison who believed in the power of theatre to transform lives.

Clean Break uses theatre to keep the subject of women in prison on the cultural radar, helping to reveal the damage caused by the criminal justice system. Through our unique work, 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.

Since 1979, Clean Break has been the only women’s theatre company of its kind, and we continue to inspire playwrights and captivate audiences with our ground-breaking plays on the complex theme of women and criminalisation. 

Through theatre workshops and projects in prisons and in the community which build confidence, resilience and wellbeing, we transform the lives of women who have experienced the criminal justice system or who are at risk of entering it due to the challenges they are facing, such as mental ill health or problematic substance use, which place them in circumstances that make interaction with the criminal justice system difficult to avoid.

Our Members Programme is available to women aged 18 and above. The Programme offers a range of workshops and performance opportunities led by esteemed female theatre artists, underpinned by comprehensive support.

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. Our vision is of a society where women can realise their full potential, free from criminalisation, and we believe that theatre enables women to challenge their oppression by society in general and by the criminal justice system in particular.

Find out more about Clean Break’s story in our digital timeline.

Learn more about women and the criminal justice system at the Prison Reform Trust and Women in Prison websites.

For a full list of research, articles, recorded events and documentary work on Clean Break click here.

Our People

Lakesha Arie-Angelo
Associate Artistic Director
Tracey Anderson
Support Manager
Shabina Cannon
Operations Assistant
Emily Clarke
Development Manager
Sophie Connolly
Participation Manager
Alice Dryden
Operations Manager
Nadia Dorr
Communications Manager
Maya Ellis
Producer
Maggie Fowles
Development Manager
Jade Greene
Development Co-ordinator
Maryam Harvey
Finance Assistant
Saffi Jones
Head of Finance and Operations
Alice Lambert
Communications Co-ordinator
Anja Kulessa
Administrator
Mana Maye
Finance Manager
Samantha McNeil
Volunteer Manager
Linda Morgans
Housekeeper
Sally Muckley
Head of Development & Communications
Jen Quinn
Operations Assistant
Malinda Smith
Operations Assistant
Dezh Zhelyazkova
Producer

Our Board

Development Committee

Elise Brown
Freya Clarke
Jennifer Coles
Sarah Jane Dent
Sophie Fiori
Catherine Hinwood
Alison Jefferis (Chair)
Sarah Jeffs
Gillian Jones
Rebecca Urang

Our Patrons

Zawe Ashton
Lord Paul Boateng
Dame Judi Dench DBE
Sharon Duncan-Brewster
Sir Richard Eyre CBE
Baroness Helena Kennedy KC
Lucy Kirkwood
Kevin McGrath OBE
Michelle Greenidge
Ann Mitchell, Hon.Doc.of Arts UEL
Sonali Naik KC
Yve Newbold LLB
Baroness Usha Prashar CBE
Dr Joan Scanlon
Dame Janet Suzman DBE
Dame Emma Thompson DBE
Dame Harriet Walter DBE
Lia Williams

Opportunities

Because our work is about highlighting women’s experiences and providing gender-specific services to women, all of our positions are open to women only (exempt under Equality Act 2010 Schedule 9, part 1).

Working with us

Our team members are passionate about social and racial justice and about improving the lives of women with lived experience of the criminal justice system. We believe strongly in the power of theatre to transform lives.

We know that women’s careers take many different paths for all sorts of different reasons. We support and celebrate this. We strongly believe that your lived experience enhances what you bring to a professional setting, and we want women from a broad range of diverse backgrounds with a cross section of skills, experiences and narratives to extend and develop how we work.

Please see our current vacancies below, or sign up to our mailing list to find out when we are recruiting.

Volunteering with us

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 Manager, at volunteering@cleanbreak.org.uk or call 020 7482 8600. 

Current Vacancies & Volunteer Call-outs

Keep up to date with Clean Break news, productions, training and more.