An exhibition of our archive, celebrating 40 years of Clean Break.
Since its founding by two women who met in prison in 1979, Clean Break has produced ground-breaking theatre which puts women’s voices at its heart and challenges injustice within and beyond the criminal justice system.
This exhibition celebrates Clean Break's 40-year history as a radical theatre company, documenting its heritage through previously unseen archival material and specially commissioned interviews and installations.
The 40-year retrospective will be co-designed by Miriam Nabarro and Liz Whitbread, a designer and Member of Clean Break. It will take place at Swiss Cottage Gallery in Camden—Clean Break’s home borough since the 1980s.
Alongside the exhibition, we will be launching a digital timeline on our website and an events programme of digital and live activity including a screening of the 1984 Channel 4 production of Clean Break co-founder Jacqueline Holborough’s play, Killers recorded for Channel 4 in 1984 and workshops led by prominent Clean Break artists.
The exhibition and events are made possible by support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts and Humanities Research Council. This funding was received to celebrate Clean Break's 40th anniversary year, to document our heritage by: establishing a publicly accessible archive of our work at the Bishopsgate Institute; conducting oral history interviews; creating a digital timeline and exhibitions to share its story.
Book now for our exhibition events:
Creating Mules: In conversation with playwright Winsome Pinnock and Hibiscus founder, Olga Heaven MBE
Online on Thursday 1 July, 5-6.30pm
Killers: Live Stream and Post-Show Discussion with Clean Break founder & playwright,
Online on Wednesday 7 July, 6-8pm
Creating from Clean Break’s Archives with Paula Varjack
Online on Monday 19 July, 5:30-7pm
Voices From Prison
Online on Wednesday 28 July, 6pm
Miriam Nabarro is a visual artist and scenographer with 25 years’ experience working in socially engaged and participatory settings, both locally and internationally. She was lead artist for Processions with Clean Break (2018/ 1418 Now!), and is Creative Associate for 20 Stories High in Liverpool, Artist in Residence at SOAS, and a core team member with Art Refuge UK, regularly working in Northern France with people in transit. In 2017-8 she created a pop up archive installation for the Award winning The Welcoming Party (Theatrerites/ MIF/ RURH) and divides her time between theatre making, public and participatory art practice
Miriam has worked with Clean Break on several projects including Processions and the 40th Anniversary Installation.
Liz Whitbread is designer and a Member of Clean Break since 2012. Gaining experience and confidence through support from Clean Break, she found a passion for working behind the scenes, and graduated from Wimbledon UAL Theatre Design in 2019. She has experience working as a Set and Costume Designer on Clean Break's education programme for Sabrina Mafouz 'A Casting Call For Arms', 2016 and a celebration of 20 Years of Clean Break's Education Programme with Jelena Budimir, 2018. She assisted artist Miriam Nabarro to create a mobile exhibition celebrating Clean Break's 40th Anniversary that toured alongside 2019 production Sweatbox, set inside a prison van. She is proud to be taking on the role of co-designer for 'I am a theatre': 40 Years of Clean Break Theatre Company exhibition, and aims to exhibit the spirit and success of how voices can and must be heard through women in the criminal justice system..