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


Lillian Ashford

Lillian Ashford
Senior Development Manager

Caro Boss

Caro Boss
Marketing Coordinator

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Stephanie Cartwright
Philanthropy Manager

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Maya Ellis
Executive Assistant

Mimi Findlay Clean Break

Mimi Findlay

Gill Greer

Gillian Greer
Creative Associate

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Alison Hargreaves

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Ashleigh-Rose Harman
Digital Coordinator

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Emma Kendall
Development Manager

Lorraine Faissal

Lorraine Maher
Participation Manager

selina mayer

Selina Mayer
Finance & Data Manager

samantha mcneil

Samantha McNeil
Volunteer Coordinator

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Linda Morgans

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Sally Muckley
Head of Development and Communications

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Jacqueline Stewart
Head of Participation

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Katherine Sturt-Scobie

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Demi Wilson-Smith
Development & Members Assistant

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Dezh Zhelyazkova
Assistant Producer

Our Board

Ellie Kendrick Clean Break

Ellie Kendrick

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Sara Forbes

Development Committee

Leonia Chesterfield
Baroness Simone Finn
Sharon Heyman
Alison Jefferis
Sarah Jeffs
Gillian Jones
Marie-Claire Meisels
Alice Millest (Chair)
Phoebe Reith
Ashni Shah

Our Patrons

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

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

Gardener Volunteer
We are currently looking for a female volunteer to maintain our garden area.
Catering Volunteer
We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to be apart of the Catering Team.