A Clean Break and National Theatre production
If this house could speak.
Mary has just been released from prison. She wants to come home and forget all about it but Briana has other ideas.
Over a tumultuous two days a family is forced to confront not just their past but themselves.
Because even if you refuse to hear the truth, the truth doesn’t go away.
Dixon and Daughters is a powerful story of family and forgiveness, a Clean Break play written by Deborah Bruce and co-produced with the National Theatre.
The production originally ran on the Dorfman Stage at the National Theatre from April to June 2023.
A filmed version is now available to watch on National Theatre at Home:
Bríd Brennan’s work in theatre includes The Veil, Pillars of the Community, Rutherford and Son (Olivier Award nomination), Dancing at Lughnasa (also at the Abbey, Dublin, in the West End and on Broadway; Tony Award) and Machine Wreckers at the National Theatre; Macbeth (as Lady Macbeth) and La Lupa for the RSC; Henry V at Shakespeare’s Globe; Sweet Bird of Youth at the Old Vic; The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman he Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union, A Kind of Alaska and The Little Foxes (Olivier Award nomination) at the Donmar; Plaques and Tangles, Bliss, Woman and Scarecrow, Bone and Balilegangaire at the Royal Court; All My Sons at Regent’s Park; Blood Wedding at the Young Vic; Smelling a Rat at Hampstead; Intemperance at the Everyman, Liverpool; A Particle of Dread and Farewell for Field Day at Derry Playhouse and Signature, NY; All that Fall for Out of Joint; What Shadow for Birmingham Rep; Dallas Sweetman and Canterbury Cathedral for Paines Plough; Silver Birch House at the Arcola; Juno and the Paycock and Philadelphia, Here I Come! at the Gaiety, Dublin; and By the Bog of Cats, Absolutely (Perhaps!), The Ferryman (Olivier Award nomination), Pinter at the Pinter: Moonlight and Night School in the West End.
TV includes Ballroom of Romance, The Daily Woman, Ghostwatch, Trial & Retribution, Any Time Now, Cracker, Tell Tale Hearts, Four Days in July, The Billy Trilogy, Lorna, Cracker, The Escape Artist, Upstairs Downstairs, Doctor Who, Come Home, Peaky Blinders, Unforgotten, Hope Street and Dalgliesh. Film includes My Sailor, My Love, Doineann, Brooklyn, Calm with Horses, Florence Foster Jenkins, Shadow Dancer (IFTA Award and Edinburgh Festival Award), The Truth Commissioner, Topsy Turvey, Dancing at Lughnasa (IFTA Award), Trojan Eddie, Sunday, Felicia’s Journey, Hidden City, Anne Devlin and Maeve.
Alison Fitzjohn trained at Bretton Hall in Leeds studying BA Hons in Theatre Acting. Her work in theatre includes Oz for Tobacco Factory and Pins and Needles; Typical Girls for Clean Break and Sheffield Crucible; The Band Musical on UK tour and at Theatre Royal Haymarket; Dr Faustess: A Demonic New Musical for A Likely Story and Cockpit Theatre; Everyone Is Dead for Theatre West and Bristol Old Vic; Olivier-nominated Alice’s Adventures Underground for Les Enfants Terribles; Good Clown, Bad Clown for Bristol Old Vic; Tapestry for Northern Broadsides; and Horrible Histories (UK and international tours, at Sydney Opera House and at the Garrick and Apollo theatres in the West End), Olivier-nominated Gangsta Granny and Billionaire Boy, George’s Marvellous Medicine and Why the Whales Came for Birmingham Stage Company. TV includes The Outlaws, Nova Jones and Deceit. Film includes BAFTA-nominated Stuffed, You’re Absolutely Right, Greatest Days and A Recipe For Love.
Yazmin Kayani trained at Bristol Old Vic. Their work in theatre includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Shakespeare Northern Playhouse. TV includes Doctors. Film includes Nettle Day.
Posy Sterling trained at Italia Conti Acting. Her work in theatre includes The Taxidermist’s Daughter at Chichester; Faith, Hope & Charity for A Zeldin on European tour; Sweatbox for Clean Break, the Royal Court and on UK tour; and Belong at Arcola. TV includes World on Fire 2. Film includes The Outrun, Lollipop, and the short films Sweatbox and Grief. Posy Sterling is also the founder and director of Screen School, working with young people in the East Midlands.
Andrea Lowe’s work in theatre includes Bash at the Citizens, Glasgow; Gong Donkeys at the Bush; A Day in Dull Armour at the Royal Court; The Birthday Party at the Sheffield Crucible; and How the Other Half Loves in the West End. TV includes Sherwood, Without Sin, Mrs Sidhu Investigates, DCI Banks, Endeavour, Agatha Raisin, Trust Me, Houdini and Doyle, Relentless, Lewis, Midsomer Murders, Love Life, Monroe, The Accused, Shameless, The Bill, Miss Marple, Murphy’s Law, New Tricks, No Heroics, Silent Witness, The Tudors, Torchwood, Casualty, Hotel Babylon, Where the Heart Is, Cracker, Love Soup, A Thing Called Love, Murder City, Rescue Me, Fields of Gold, Nature Boy, Night and Day, No Angels, Peak Practice and Sleeper. Film includes Route Irish, Lollipop, The Unloved, Joey, When the Lights Went Out, I Don’t Care, The Arbiter, Pandemonium, The Rover’s Return, The Token King and Club Le Monde. Andrea Lowe is currently writing her first play as part of a playwriting programme with Clean Break and the Royal Court.
Liz White trained at LIPA. Her work in theatre includes Port and A Woman Killed with Kindness at the National Theatre; Spring Storm and Beyond the Horizon at the National Theatre and Royal & Derngate; Shadowlands at Chichester; Road, Plasticine and The One with the Oven at the Royal Court; Electra at the Old Vic; Dying for it at the Almeida; References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot at the Arcola; The Woman Who Walked into Doors at the Stephen Joseph; and Project E (An Explosion) for Work Theatre Collective at Battersea Arts Centre. TV includes The Long Shadow, Call the Midwife, Anatomy of a Scandal, The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself, The Amazing Mr Blunden, Brexit, Moving On, Ackley Bridge, The Halycon, Our Zoo, From There to Here, Docotor Who, The Crimson Petal and the White, Garrow’s Law, The Fixer, Life on Mars, Vincent and A Thing Called Love. Film includes Pride, Wild Bill, The Woman in Black, New Town Killers, Franklin, You Want Me to Kill Him?, Vera Drake and the short film Pavement. Radio includes Spring Storm, Behind Enemy Lines, Other Kin and When Greed Becomes Fear.
Róisín McBrinn is Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, Dublin. She was formerly Joint Artistic Director of Clean Break for which she directed Favour at the Bush; Typical Girls for Sheffield Theatres; Through This Mist; Thick as Thieves for Theatr Clywd; Joanne for Soho Theatre and the RSC; House Among the Reeds at The Yard; and the audio drama BLIS-TA. Amongst others, McBrinn has directed for The Taxidermist’s Daughter at Chichester; No Escape, Perve and Heartbreak House at the the Abbey; The Snapper at the Gate, Dublin; Afterplay for Sheffield Theatres; Yerma at Leeds Playhouse; and The Field at the Tricycle. She was formerly Associate Director at Sherman Theatre where she directed 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 and UK Theatre Best Director Award.
Deborah Bruce is a theatre director and playwright. She was Clean Break’s Writer in Residence between 2016–18. Her writing for theatre includes Same for National Theatre Connections; Raya and Godchild for Hampstead Theatre Downstairs; The House They Grew Up In for Headlong at Chichester; Kat and Zaccy for Headlong and BBC Unprecedented; The Distance and Guidesky and I for the Orange Tree (also for Sheffield Theatres); and Joanne for Clean Break.
Kat Heath trained in Design for Performance at Wimbledon School of Art and Central Saint Martins, London. Her work for Clean Break includes Typical Girls at Sheffield Crucible; Through This Mist for Clean Break Courtyard; and Favour (as design mentor) at the Bush. Recent set and costume designs include New Electric Ballroom at the Gate, Dublin; The Third Day: Autumn and Audiences of the Future for Punchdrunk and HBO/Sky; Fire Songs, Sensory Studio, The Isle of Brimsker, 2065 and A Night Out in Nature for Frozen Light; A Curious Quest, Ermis Travel and Woolwich Hall of Fame for Punchdrunk; The Nutcracker for Moxie Brawl at Cambridge Junction; Our Man in Havana at the Watermill; Odds On for Dante or Die; Il Tabarro for Copenhagen Opera Festival; Peaky Blinders for Rambert; Punk Alley at Southbank Centre; MSND for Rift; The Forest of Forgotten Discos for Contact Theatre; The Redux Project for Richard Dedomenici at Battersea Arts Centre and the BBC; The Hollow Hotel for DifferencEngine; Macbeth and I’m Super Thanks for Proteus; The Burning Tower, Bush Bazaar and Fun Palaces at the Bush; Bridges y Puentes at Theatre Royal Stratford East; You’ve Changed and Big Girl’s Blouse for TransCreative; Così fan Tutte at Bury Court Opera; The Importance of Being Earnest and The Two Worlds of Charlie F at Theatre Royal Haymarket; L’Orfeo, La bohème and Dido and Aeneas for Silent Opera; and Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance for Belle & Sebastian.
Paule Constable is an Associate at the National Theatre and is a Royal Designer for Industry. Her work in theatre includes The Normal Heart, The Visit, or the old lady comes to call, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Olivier Award), ‘Master Harold’... and the boys, Follies, Pericles, Nine Night, Pinocchio, Mosquitoes, Common, Angels in America, The Red Barn, The Threepenny Opera, wonder.land, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Light Princess, Table, This House, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Olivier and Tony awards), Phèdre, Death and the King’s Horseman, Waves, Saint Joan and War Horse (Tony Award) at the National Theatre; Guys and Dolls at the Bridge; Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead for Complicité; The Devil Wears Prada at the James M Nederlander, Chicago; Best of Enemies at the Young Vic; and breathe… at the Almeida; Tenebrae: Lessons Learnt in Darkness at Brighton Festival; Les Misérables at the Sondheim; Wolf Hall for the RSC, in the West End and on Broadway; ear for eye and The Weir (also West End and Broadway) at the Royal Court; The Chalk Garden (Olivier Award) at the Donmar; and Don Carlos at Sheffield Crucible and in the West End (Olivier Award); and The Glass Menagerie and Cock in the West End. She has worked with many of the world’s major opera companies including the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. In dance, Constable is an Associate for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. Paule Constable was one of the first women to be awarded the Tonic Award for her achievements. She was awarded the Rayne Award in 2018 to acknowledge her contribution to the work of the National Theatre and in 2020 received a special award from the Critics Circle to acknowledge her contribution to theatre. Paule Constable is a founder member of Freelancers Make Theatre Work and is a campaigner for sustainable theatre.
Sinéad Diskin is a sound designer and composer. She is a graduate of the SEEDS programme with Rough Magic Theatre Company, Dublin, a recipient of the Next Generation Artists Award 2019 from the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the commission award from Anú Productions and the Arts Council of Ireland 2021. Her work for theatre includes Walking with Ghosts for Landmark Productions, in the West End and on Broadway; Tales from the Holywell at the Abbey, Dublin; The Taxidermist’s Daughter at Chichester; Medicine and Blood in the Dirt for Landmark Productions; The Visit for Draíocht and Dublin Theatre Festival; Aftertaste and Ask Too Much of Me for National Youth Theatre; Boland: Journey of a Poet for Druid; Piaf, Pale Sister, The Snapper and The Glass Menagerie at the Gate, Dublin; The Wakefires, Faultline and Torch for Anú Productions; The Anvil for Manchester International Festival and Anú Productions; Incantata for the Galway International Arts Festival; and The Phlebotomist at Hampstead. Her film work includes Suited for Battersea Arts Centre; Constance with Úna Kavanagh; Canaries, Torch and Hecatomb for Anú Productions.
Mildred Moyo is a Zimbabwean, self-taught lighting designer currently enrolled on a scholarship at Rose Bruford College in MA Light in Performance Course. Recent credits include The Famous Five: A New Musical (as associate lighting designer to Johanna Town) for Theatr Clwyd and Chichester; LX tech at the Royal Opera House; and Elf The Musical (as shadow to lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe) and The Choir of Man (LX tech and operator) in the West End. In 2011 Moyo founded Phenomenal Lighting and Power Solutions, the first female-owned lighting company in Zimbabwe. In 2019, she established the first lighting masterclass series in Zimbabwe for young people, with a particular focus on disadvantaged girls and women. In 2020, due to COVID-19, the classes were moved to Zoom and hosted some of the most renowned lighting designers from across the world, including Paule Constable, Hansjörg Schmidt, Michael Curry, Bamanye Yeko, Patrick Woodroffe and Erich Bertti. In 2021, she founded a lighting workshop called ‘Lights Out’ which toured Zimbabwe and culminated in a three-day inaugural lighting festival, ‘Let there be light’. The festival was attended by international lighting designers namely Bamanye Yeko, from Capetown South Africa and Micheal Foster from Dell’Arte International, California, USA.
Sarita Piotrowski is a movement director and choreographer working across theatre, opera, TV and film. As movement director, work in theatre includes The Tempest for the RSC; The Rape of Lucretia for Britten Pears Arts and the Royal Opera House; Favour at the Bush; Jitney for Headlong at the Old Vic and Leeds Playhouse; Offside and Underwater Love for Futures Theatre; Theodora at the Royal Opera House; The Cunning Little Vixen for Opera Holland Park; I Would Rather Go Blind at Omnibus; Nell Gwynn at the Ivy; Awa’s Journey at the Arcola; and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and The Glass Menagerie in the West End. As associate movement director, work includes Nine Night at the National Theatre; Tartuffe at Birmingham Rep; and Best of Enemies at the Young Vic. As choreographer, work includes Glimpses at the Place; Anything Goes at Hackney Empire; and Reflection Route at the British Museum. TV includes Sher Yadet Nare. Film includes Been So Long and Louder than Words.
'detailed and discomforting'
The Stage on Dixon and Daughters
'...beneath its apparent simplicity runs a complex dynamic between family members and cyclically repeated abuse or trauma that feels as genuine as it is tragic.'
The Guardian on Dixon and Daughters
‘...a powerful piece of drama that has us leaning forward eagerly in our seats.’
Dixon and Daughters review, The i
‘powerful, poignant and peppered with sharp humour’
The Big Issue on Dixon and Daughters
‘Dixon and Daughters is an important and frustratingly timely play. Harrowing, but full of love as much as it is full of fear, a rousing study in female resilience.’