A new film from Clean Break
Co-created by Nicole Hall, Michelle Hamilton, Kirsty Housley, Carina Murray, Natasha Jean Sparkes, and River.
“It’s not us that needs to change, it’s the world.”
Hope is an uplifting story of personal growth and community activism, exploring what hope means for women facing adversity. Through personal stories, reflection, poetry and movement, Natasha, Carina, Michelle and Nicole navigate how we can hold on to hope in times of uncertainty, and what to do when the world makes you feel there is none to be found.
This lyrical documentary offers an intimate portrait of four women pushing back against oppressive forces which threaten to squash their spirit. It invites us all to consider: where does hope come from, what sustains it during times of darkness, and how can we share it with others?
Tickets are now on sale for a number of screening events this Autumn.
Hope has been released digitally and is available to watch on Clean Break’s Knowledge Hub.
Cast: Nicole Hall, Michelle Hamilton, Carina Murray, Natasha Jean Sparkes
Ensemble: Amy-Jane Pearce, Aseema, C.C., Cici Clarke, Clare, Delia Jane McCorry, Denise Ennis, Eddy Queens, Elizabeth, Ellen, Emma Monnickendam, Jean, Jennifer Joseph, K.T. Marsh, Oriana White, Sarah, Sharon Leigh, Sof M, and Yvonne Jeffrey.
Director: Kirsty Housley
Director of Photography: Tracy Kiryango
Associate Director: River
Editor: Cydney Adams
Sound Designer and Composer: Elena Peña
Sound Mixer: Jasmine Allodi
Movement Director: Jennifer Jackson
Producer: Maya Ellis
Colourist: Tash Hicks
VFX Producer: Sorrel Higgins
With thanks to all Clean Break Members involved in the development of the Hope project; Myah Jeffers; Nic Connaughton and Neil McNab; FiLMiC Pro; the team at Clean Break; Catherine Thornborrow, Harvey Dhadda, Mica Taylor, Johnny Wilson, David McSevent, TJ Chappell-Meade, Rachel Dudley, and all the staff at the Royal Court Theatre.
With special thanks to all those that supported Hope by donating to the Big Give Women & Girls Match Fund 2022.
The co-creators would like to dedicate this film to Molnár Bálint, Violetta Garcia, Sarah Morag Hamilton, Jámbor Margit, Elijah Murray, Denis Power, Carrie Rock, Nirvana Valentino, and Paula Williamson.
Kirsty Housley is a director, writer and dramaturg. Kirsty was the recipient of the Oxford Samuel
Beckett Theatre Trust Award for Cue Deadly, a Live Film Project, and the Title Pending award for
innovation at Northern Stage. She jointly received The Stage award for Innovation in 2017 for The
Encounter and was nominated again in 2018 for The Believers are but Brothers. She was an RSC
digital fellow in 2022.
Her recent directing work includes: Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead (Complicité,
2022/23); Jekyll & Hyde (National Theatre schools tour, 2022); Extinct (Theatre Royal Stratford East,
2021); The Long Goodbye Livestream (Riz Ahmed/MIF/BAM, 2020), Rich Kids: A History of Shopping
Malls in Tehran (Traverse Theatre and Digital version, 2019/20); Mephisto (A Rhapsodie) (Gate
Theatre, 2019); Tao of Glass, (Manchester International Festival and Royal Exchange Theatre, 2019);
Grimm Tales (Unicorn Theatre, 2018); I'm A Phoenix, Bitch, (Battersea Arts Centre, 2018); and The
Encounter (Complicité, Edinburgh International Festival, Warwick Arts Centre, Theatre Vidy, Bristol
Old Vic, UK Tour, Broadway, 2015/16/17/18).
River is a director and facilitator. River was on Clean Break’s Young Artist Development Programme in 2019 where they co-created and wrote Belong (Arcola & Lyric Hammersmith). They regularly work as a facilitator for Clean Break and Cardboard Citizens and has recently been a facilitator on Clean Break’s tour of Catch. Recent associate/assistant directing credits includes Resistance Theatre (Cardboard Citizens, Audio Drama).
Tracy is an award-winning Film Director and Cinematographer with over 10 years of experience in film production, post production, and video journalism for various companies like ITV, BBC, The Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, Express Newspapers, Twofour Broadcast, BFI, Independent Cinema Office, Purpose Europe, Artsadmin and Mind Charity. Her most recent short documentary ‘Buddleia The Unchained Story,’ won the ‘Best Documentary’ award at the BAFTA accredited British Urban Film Festival 2022, and her directorial debut short film ‘Colour Blind,‘ won an award for ‘Best Actress’ at DBUFF Film Festival 2018.
Cydney has been creating films since 2016 and is particularly passionate about working with material that is inclusive to real lived stories and characters who are often absent from our screens. Completing her Film BA at the University of Kent and UCLA, she trained as a Videographer and Editor before going freelance in 2020, and has since had many commissioned projects for collectives such as Greenham Women Everywhere, Power of Women Festival & FiLiA conference 2023. Cydney's work has been screened at the Turner Contemporary, Margate.
Elena Peña is a sound designer and composer. Her recent work includes: Blue Mist (Royal Court Theatre); As You Like It (Royal Shakespeare Company); Wuthering Heights (Royal and Derngate, UK tour); Songs From Across the Sueniverse (Sherman Theatre); Misty (Trafalgar Studios, The Shed, NYC) seven methods of killing kylie jenner, (Royal Court, Riksteatern Sweden, Public Theater NYC); Silence (Donmar Warehouse & Tara Theatre); The Darkest Part of the Night (Kiln Theatre); Nora: A Doll's House (Royal Exchange Theatre); Trouble in Mind (National theatre); and Rockets and Blue Lights (National Theatre & Royal Exchange Theatre).
Jennifer Jackson is a Latinx British-Bolivian theatre-maker, movement director/choreographer and performer. She is a Leverhulme Arts Scholar, and was the recipient of a Jerwood Live Work Fund (2021). In 2023 she was awarded a Jerwood New Work Award for her new production WRESTLELADSWRESTLE, and is currently supported by the Barbican Centre (Open Lab). Her recent movement director credits include: Fame Hungry (The Place London, 2023); Julius Caesar and Cowbois (Royal Shakespeare Company, 2023); The Life and Death of All of Us (Summerhall Gallery, 2023); Macbeth (Shakespeare's Globe, 2023); 5 CHILDREN AND IT (The egg, 2022); MACBETH, I, JOAN, & MERCHANT OF VENICE, (Shakespeare's Globe, 2023/ 2022); BRITTANICUS (Lyric Hammersmith, 2022); THE BREACH (Hampstead Theatre, 2022); COVENTRY MOVES- OPENING CEREMONY (Coventry City of Culture, 2021). Solo work includes ENDURANCE (HOME MCR & Battersea Arts Centre) which was shortlisted for the Stückemarkt Theatertreffen (2022).
Tash Hicks is an emerging talent within the world of colour grading after gaining recognition for her exceptional creative flair on projects for Rankin, AMG Mercedes and Givenchy. With an established portfolio as a fashion and beauty photographer, Tash’s camera skills quickly gravitated towards a career in colour grading. Tash’s recent work for the new band ACALI demonstrates her impressive artistic and technical skills.
Sorrel Higgins is a Producer at Coffee & TV, bringing a unique blend of creativity and organization to the team. Sorrel's journey to becoming a producer is rooted in her rich background in photography, where she has honed her skills as a photographer and retoucher for over six years.
Throughout her career, Sorrel has worked on projects with renowned brands such as Amazon, Nike, and the BBC. Her creative eye, cultivated through years of photography, allows her to understand the
intricacies of creative projects, contributing fresh and innovative perspectives to all her work.
She's a true people person who thrives in team environments, always ready to lend a helping hand and
provide the support needed to keep things on track. Even under the most challenging circumstances,
Sorrel remains calm, patient, and unflinching, making her an invaluable asset to any project.
In the world of production, Sorrel Higgins is a rising star, combining her passion for creativity,
meticulous attention to detail, and innate ability to connect with others.
Nicole is an actor and Clean Break Member Artist. Her credits include: More Than We Can Bear (Clean Break/Almeida), Through this Mist (Clean Break), Not Pretty Like the Rainbow (Clean Break/Bunker Theatre, 2019), Deep and Beneath (Hampstead Theatre), Whispered Dreams of the Middle Passage (The Roundhouse), Lonely (Clean Break - Play in a Week), Missing (Clean Break), Casualty (BBC), Harry and Cosh (Channel 5), Crimewatch UK (BBC). She is the joint CEO of Nubian CoHeARTs, a new all-female Black led theatre company. They are currently in development for a play Nether Regions
Michelle Hamilton is an actor, facilitator, physical theatre performer and Clean Break Member Artist.
Michelle’s acting credits include: Radio Ballads (Serpentine Gallery, 2022); Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare Globe, 2019); Constance and Kelly (dir. Laura McClusky, 2017); Spent (Clean Break, 2015); and Raising Burbage (Shakespeare in Shoreditch Society, 2014). Michelle has also appeared in several short films and was the choreographer for The Eclectives’ Immersive fashion show in 2021.
Carina Murray is an actor and Member Artist. She recently worked as a collaborator and performer with Rory Pilgrim on the Turner Prize nominated project Rafts (Serpentine Gallery) and performed in Rafts Live (Cadogan Hall).
Natasha Jean Sparkes is a poet, playwright, actor and Clean Break Member Artist. Her recent acting credits include: Home (short film dir. Nia Childs); All the Lights Are On (Clean Break and Cardboard Citizens);The Stranger (Netflix); Silent Witness and Call the Midwife (BBC); Hetty Feather (CBBC); and Broadchurch (ITV).