headshot of Roisin McBrinn
05.05.22

Róisín McBrinn stepping down as Joint Artistic Director

After eight years with Clean Break, Róisín McBrinn is leaving her role as our Joint Artistic Director and Chief Executive to join The Gate Theatre in Dublin as their new Artistic Director.

For the past eight years Róisín has been an integral part of Clean Break, joining us in 2014 as Head of Artistic Programme, and becoming Joint Artistic Director alongside Anna Herrmann and Erin Gavaghan as Executive Director, four years later. As part of the leadership team, Róisín has developed our company as a major force in producing new writing, commissioned and directed ground-breaking plays including Typical Girls by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Blis-ta by Sonya Hale, and brought our Members into the heart of Clean Break’s work.

Róisín McBrinn in rehearsals for Typical Girls, 2021
Róisín McBrinn in rehearsals for Typical Girls, 2021 / Lucy Smith-Jones

Róisín McBrinn and Ambreen Razia recording Blis-ta at the National Theatre, 2020
Róisín McBrinn and Ambreen Razia recording Blis-ta at the National Theatre, 2020

We are very excited to see what this next chapter in Róisín’s artistic career will bring, as she joins The Gate Theatre, a venue with such a significant role in the Irish cultural landscape.

While Róisín’s departure will be a huge loss to Clean Break, we are energised by the pipeline of work which has been generated by Róisín and Anna Herrmann as Joint Artistic Directors. The next 18 months of activity and partnerships at Clean Break are a testament to the legacy of Róisín’s time here, which we will continue to build on after she steps into her new position in August.

Róisín McBrinn at Keir Starmer visit to Clean Break office, 2020
Róisín McBrinn at Keir Starmer visit to Clean Break office, 2020 / Olivia Chancellor

Róisín McBrinn: 'It's been a huge honour to jointly lead Clean Break for the past four years and to have worked here for eight. Huge thanks to our brilliant Board, the amazing Anna Herrmann and Erin Gavaghan whom I have led alongside, our wonderful staff team, all the artists and partners we collaborate with and of course, our Members. Working at Clean Break has taught me an immeasurable amount and it has been the most fruitful, formative and joyful time of my career. I will miss the whole community, but I am so excited to pass the baton on and see this vital, brilliant company morph and grow in someone else's hands.'

Alison Frater and Tanya Tracey, Co-chairs of Clean Break Board: ‘Róisín has been a solid creative foundation for Clean Break and a dynamic powerhouse for change. Working with our Members, she seized every opportunity to enable artistic expression, to inspire new writing and to support freelance artists. She jointly delivered the company's aspiration to grow its theatre-making roots, producing unique and excellent work. She worked tirelessly as part of the leadership team over the pandemic years finding innovative ways to ensure the voices of women affected by the criminal justice system were heard. There was also an astonishing number of debates, workshops, training events and talks online reaching out to audiences, finding expression for those most affected by the pandemic and driving high profile advocacy for ending the incarceration of women, tackling racism, inequality and injustice. She leaves the company with creative work for main stages in the pipeline and a legacy of achievement that will be difficult to replace. We thank her with all our heart and wish her well for the future.’

Erin Gavaghan and Anna Herrmann: ‘Jointly leading Clean Break with Róisín for the last four years, we have faced some extraordinary times together, and we are proud of the bold, ambitious and courageous company we are today. We will hugely miss Róisín’s vision, friendship, passion and unswerving commitment to justice and to joy. We wish her every success as she continues her career and look forward to seeing her continue to make beautiful theatre. Her contributions to our future plans will be a legacy that we are excited to build upon as we move ahead.’

Róisín McBrinn at Thick as Thieves read-through with company, 2018
Róisín McBrinn at Thick as Thieves read-through with company, 2018 / Theatr Clwyd

As we prepare for Favour, our summer 2022 production with Bush Theatre, we are pleased to confirm that the play will still be directed by Róisín, with co-direction from Sophie Dillon-Moniram. Tickets to see Favour are currently available to book through the Bush Theatre website.