Keeping Mum short film

Clean Break Collaborates on New Short Film

A powerful film collaboration, Keeping Mum, looks at how imprisonment impacts mothers and children.

“Every hug, every time he needs me and I’m not there, every time he’s scared..."

These are the words of a mother in prison in a new film Keeping Mum, commissioned by Barnardo’s and researched, developed and created by York St John University Prison Partnership Project in association with Clean Break. Keeping Mum was based on extensive research, including time spent working with and listening to the experiences of mothers at HMP Askham Grange.

Keeping Mum highlights how the imprisonment of women with children can often feel as much of a punishment for the children as it is for the mother, especially considering that, depending on the familial circumstances, a mother can sometimes serve a whole sentence without seeing her children. The reflections in the film also highlight how the strain of living without their Mum for extended periods of time can affect a child’s mental health as well as their relationships with other family members.

Keeping Mum was conceived and creatively produced by Rachel Conlon, (Senior Lecturer in Applied Theatre at York St John University and Director of the Prison Partnership Project), performed by Clean Break actors, co-directed by Imogen Ashby, formally our Head of Engagement and was written by playwright Laura Lomas who we worked with on the 2016 B!RTH Festival submission These Four Walls and our production Joanne.


If you would like any further information on the project please contact Rachel Conlon from York St John University -