Compact Failure explores the relationships between three women prisoners: Chelle, Ruthie and Maya. Old-timer Chelle is lonely. Maya is missing her children who don't know she's in prison. Ruthie, in her early twenties, is a breath of fresh air for Chelle, who thought she was done with friendship.
Jennifer Farmer's sharp and richly textured narrative is about the hierarchy of prison life, its impact on families and visitors, challenges or release and resettlement and, ultimately, redemption.
But it has a scope, a rage, a sparky flame of life about it that makes it compelling and thoroughly enjoyable. It confirms Farmer's promise, as well as that of director Sarah Esdaile, whose edgy, beautifully acted production - played out on Ti Green's little miracle of a set - is as tough and tender as Framer's script.
Lyn Gardner - The Guardian
'A high-quality production from Clean Break, Compact Failure, is a brutal and honest prison drama about friendship, loyalty, forgiveness, and motherhood. It follows the stories of Ruthie (Claire-Louise Cordwell), Chelle (Lorna Gayle) and Maya (Sharlene Whyte) during their time in prison.'
Rachel Lynn Brody - British Theatre Guide
'Theatre does not get much more cutting edge than this.'