Theatre company welcomed to university to explore the issue of women involved with the criminal justice system

Categories: School of Health and Society

Students and colleagues were invited to a special performance last month as ground-breaking theatre company Clean Break visited the University of Salford.

Formed in 1979, Clean Break is a women-only theatre company who conduct performances, workshops and projects both in prisons and the community. 

‘Catch’ is a new play which presents a compelling case for the necessity of women’s centre services, and highlights how the criminal justice system places impassable barriers in front of women who are trying to survive. 

It follows the lives of three women Christina, Susan and Rachel, each trying to turn her life around, and seeking support at a women’s centre. These women are accessing support for different reasons: domestic violence, addiction and unsafe housing – all leading to entanglement with the criminal justice system. The thought-provoking play explores the many challenges women face and asks the burning question if re-entry to the criminal justice system is inevitable, or in this case, if the support from the women’s centre is enough to catch them. 

The play was acted and developed by women who have experienced the criminal justice system or are risk of entering it. 

After the play, there was a workshop hosted by the actors and team who developed the show. 

Dr Kelly Lockwood, Head of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology at the university, who arranged the performance, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Clean Break to the university of Salford. Women experiencing the criminal justice system face a range of complex challenges, and the performance provides an excellent opportunity to open up conversations about how we can explore these issues and provide better support.” 

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