Blis-ta, a new audio drama by Sonya Hale.
Listen now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Sound Cloud or wherever you like to listen.
Kat and Cherry meet on the streets. Kat is wily, funny, and fierce; Cherry is a lost dreamer. Blis-ta is the story of their adventures to survive as homeless girls and the transformative power of friendship.
Written by the late Sonya Hale, who was a Clean Break Member, it is a visceral, bold and startling audio drama about hidden homelessness and the lengths women go to for survival.
A wild celebration of resilience, it will spin you through a mesh of joy, chaos and beauty.
Listen to the audio drama, with an introduction from Lucy Kirkwood on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud or wherever you get your podcasts.
We’re delighted to be sharing Blis-ta with you for free. If you enjoy this unflinching audio drama, then please consider supporting Clean Break by becoming a Friend.
From £5 a month, your support will help us produce ground-breaking theatre and transform women’s lives so they can reach their full potential, free from criminalisation.
Our thanks to Dominic Bilkey, Suzanne Diakun, Bertie Carvel, Holly Conneely, Jessica Dromgoole, Sarah Fortescue, Abigail Gonda, Sarah Kenny, Jeremy Mortimer, Lucy Morrison, Rufus Norris, the National Theatre and Elisha Sessions.
Read more for content warnings.
Sonya joined Clean Break as a Member in 2011. She wrote a short play for the company in 2013, HOURS TIL MIDNIGHT, and was given a full length commission the same year. She performed in MEAL TICKET for Clean Break at Latitude Festival in 2014 and her latest play, BLIS-TA, has been made into an audio drama.
Sonya has had plays performed at The Southbank Centre, Latitude Festival, E15 University and in prisons and treatment centres. She has worked with Synergy Theatre Project, Clean Break Theatre Company and The Outside Edge Theatre Company. She runs writer’s workshops and is an associate workshop facilitator at Outside Edge. A rehearsed reading of her first play GLORY WHISPERS was performed at Theatre 503 after winning Synergy Theatre Project’s national prison scriptwriting competition, her play DEAN MCBRIDE won the Heretic Voices competition in January 2018 and was performed at The Arcola Theatre. Her most recent play, BULLET TONGUE, was a collaborative venture with The Big House Theatre Company and received 5 star reviews in Time Out and Stage Magazine.
Sonya died in November 2020 after having lived with cancer for a number of years.
Róisín has over fifteen years experience as a theatre director working in the UK, Ireland and internationally. Previously the Joint Artistic Director for Clean Break, for the company she has directed THICK AS THEIVES (Theatr Clwyd), JOANNE (Soho Theatre and RSC) and HOUSE/AMONGST THE REEDS (Yard Theatre).
Amongst others, Róisín has directed for The Abbey Theatre in Dublin (A TASTE OF HONEY/NO ESCAPE/ PERVE/HEARTBREAK HOUSE, The Gate Theatre Dublin (THE SNAPPER), Sheffield Theatres (AFTERPLAY’), Leeds Playhouse (YERMA), The Tricycle (THE FIELD) and as Associate Director for Sherman Theatre (BEFORE IT RAINS, SLEEPING BEAUTIES and IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR).
Her awards include the Quercus Award (National Theatre) and the Young Vic Jerwood Young Directors' Award. She has been nominated for the Irish Times Best Director Award.
Ambreen is an Actress & Writer from South London.
Theatre Credits include: THE DIARY OF A HOUNSLOW GIRL (Black Theatre Live / UK Tour), NO GUTS, NO HEART, NO GLORY, (Perth International Festival), MIND THE GAP (National Theatre), AFTER ALL THIS (Ovalhouse), VARIATIONS ON A THEME (Camden People’s Theatre), OUT OF SCHOOL (Arc Theatre), ON THE MIDDLE DAY (The Old Vic).
Film Credits include: HAFU, dir. Eliot Barnes-Worrell, Nowness; ILFORD LANE, dir. Niki Simone, BFI/Mad City, CURFEW; dir. Oz Arshad, NFTS.
TV Credits include: THIS WAY UP, dir. Alex Wincher, Merman for Channel 4, Hulu; ANGELA BLACK, dir. Craig Viverios, Two Brothers Pictures for ITV; BLACK MIRROR, dir. James Hawes, Netflix; HOUNSLOW DIARIES, dir. Nida Manzoor, BBC
Theatre Credits include: THE WELKIN (National Theatre), THE DOCTOR (Almeida), THREE SISTERS (Almeida), DANCE NATION (Almeida), GUNDOG (Royal Court).
Film Credits include: MISBEHAVIOUR, dir. Philippa Lowthorpe, Left Bank Pictures; TEEN SPIRIT, dir. Max Minghella, Violet Dreams Limited; ENTEBBE, dir. Jose Padilha, Working Title; JELLYFISH, dir. James Gardner, Bankside Films.
TV Credits include: THE POWER, dir. Reed Morano, Amazon / Sister Pictures; THROUGH THE GATES, dir. Stella Corradi, Channel 4; THREE GIRLS, dir. Philippa Lowthorpe, BBC 1 / Studio Lambert; MR SELFRIDGE, dir. Various, ITV / ITV Studios.
Gillian is an Irish writer and Dramaturg based in London. She is currently Literary Manager at Soho Theatre.
Her début play PETALS was nominated for the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best New Play in 2015 and later adapted for radio winning the Celtic Media Festival Award for Best Radio Drama 2020 with Near FM. Her second play MEAT was shortlisted for the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award and ran at Theatre503 in early 2020 to great critical acclaim. She is currently developing new work with Abbey Theatre, Ireland and 45 North Productions, London.
THE LONG SONG (Chichester Festival Theatre), Recording and Audio Design for online games NATIONAL ELF SERVICE and BAD ALTITUDE, (Fast Familiar), YOU LAY YOUR HAND BACKWARDS (Audio Drama, Metta Theatre), IN THE BLOOD (Donmar) (postponed), THE EFFECT (Boulevard Theatre)(postponed), A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Bristol Old Vic), THE LOVELY BONES (Birmingham REP), OUT OF WATER (Orange Tree), SILENCE (Mercury), HERE I BELONG (Pentabus), THIS IS NOT FOR YOU (Graeae GDIF and SIRF), INSTRUCTIONS FOR CORRECT ASSEMBLY, BODIES (Royal Court), IMBER: YOU WALK THROUGH, BETRAYAL, THE MAGNA CARTA PLAYS (Salisbury Playhouse), THE ENCOUNTER (Complicite), GOOD DOG, I KNOW ALL THE SECRETS IN MY WORLD, NHAMO, HAMBA (Tiata Fahodzi), HOUSE AND GARDEN (Watermill), HARAJUKU GIRLS, (Finborough), THE DOG, THE NIGHT, AND THE KNIFE (Arcola), THE BOY WHO CLIMBED OUT OF HIS FACE (Shunt), THE LAST WORDS YOU'LL HEAR (Almeida at Latitude), MEAT (Bush).
As Associate: TOUCHING THE VOID (West End) BARBERSHOP CHRONICLES (National Theatre), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (Young Vic/West End), ADLER AND GIBB, (Royal Court); I'D RATHER GOYA ROBBED ME OF MY SLEEP THAN SOME OTHER ARSEHOLE (The Gate).
As operator: KING CHARLES III, CHIMERICA, JERSUSALEM, CLYBOURNE PARK, ENRON.