2018 has been a brilliant and incredibly busy year for Clean Break. As Christmas draws closer we’ve taken a moment to celebrate all the company has achieved this year and reflect on the changes that have happened across the organisation.
This year we have moved into delivering our new business model, producing new work and launching a new Members’ programme which puts them at the heart of the company and all our theatre making, creating even more opportunities for women with experience of the criminal justice system.
At the beginning of the year, we were humbled to receive a Tonic Award for our dedication to changing women’s lives through theatre and our commitment to new writing. Clean Break was recognised for forty years of work on the theme of women and the criminal justice system, giving opportunities to generation after generation of female creatives, and giving voice to women whose experiences are all too often silenced by society.
In the summer we were chosen as one of 50 women’s organisations who were asked to create a banner and take part in PROCESSIONS a celebratory mass participation artwork commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary and produced by Artichoke. Our Members worked tirelessly with Miriam Nabarro to create a banner to celebrate one hundred years since the first UK women got the right to vote. Clean Break chanted, danced and sang through the streets of London and the day was hands down one of the most memorable in Clean Break history.
It was a sad moment in July when we said goodbye to the phenomenal Lucy Perman MBE who led Clean Break over a phenomenal 21 years. Earlier this year Lucy was presented with the Criminal Justice Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contribution to the sector.
2018 also marked our return to the stage after a two-year hiatus with a firecracker of a co-production with Theatr Clwyd, Thick As Thieves written by award-winning playwright Katherine Chandler. The production also marked our first tour in four years, as our cast and crew took the production to audiences in Mold, Salisbury and Hull.
We've also welcomed a plethora of new women into the company. In October three new Trustees joined our board; actor and writer Ellie Kendrick and award-winning playwright Winsome Pinnock (both of whom have strong connections to the company) and management consultant Sara Forbes. In November we announced four new Patrons playwright Lucy Kirkwood and actors Zawe Ashton, Sharon Duncan-Brewster and Tanya Moodie and this month we welcomed Mimi Findlay to the team as our new Producer.
Most importantly for us, 2018 has allowed us to work with so many talented women across the arts sector and we are delighted and incredibly proud of the work we've produced and the changes we've made alongside them.
We’re now looking forward to 2019, our 40th Anniversary year which is gearing up to be an amazing year of celebration and is set to see some amazing artistic work. From the release of our monologue book to a new co-production with the Royal Court, 2019 is set to be one of Clean Break’s best years yet.
But until then, from everyone at Clean Break we wish you a restful Christmas and a happy and healthy new year. We’ll see you in a couple of weeks for some more exciting announcements and the start of our 40th birthday celebrations!