Clean Break’s ‘Sounds Like An Insult’ theatre production

Clean Break’s Sounds Like An Insult is a short theatre production for conferences and events, written to stimulate discussion around the experiences of women offenders with complex mental health needs, and the challenges of diagnosis and treatment within the criminal justice system.

Commissioned by Clean Break in association with NOMS and the Department of Health and performed by graduates of Clean Break’s theatre education programme, the play is on offer for bookings at conferences, seminars and staff training events from November onwards. The broad focus of the play and accompanying workshops (approximately 60 minutes in length) enables Sounds Like An Insult to speak to many types of audiences and to work in a variety of contexts. The play and workshop package is of interest to criminal justice agencies, women’s organisations, policymakers, probation and staff working with vulnerable women in conferences, seminars and staff training sessions.

Award-winning playwright Vivienne Franzmann researched Sounds Like An Insult in secure mental health settings. The more women Vivienne spoke to, the more it became clear that everyone had different experiences and responses to the ‘Personality Disorder’ diagnosis, yet all of the women seemed to have lived lives characterised by chaos, a sense of isolation and a feeling of otherness. Sounds Like An Insult gives snap shots of the lives of these women and their experiences in the criminal justice system.

On Sounds Like An Insult

“The performance was engaging, thought provoking and staggeringly well done”
“It was a powerful portrayal of a range of situations that I have encountered in the women’s prison system, with a refreshing frankness to the performances”
“The performance was excellent and very powerful……you could have heard a pin drop in the room. We’ve had positive feedback from a number of colleagues and I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you again for your invaluable contribution at the conference”

Recently performed at:
– The Welsh Personality Disorder Pathway Launch Conference
– The Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody National Stakeholder Event
– House of Lords, Thames Valley Partnership Women at the HeArt event

Clean Break is a producing theatre company with an independent education programme. Both strands of their work are rooted in the belief that theatre changes lives. Behind the scenes, they provide high-quality theatre-based courses, qualifications, training opportunities and specialist support which are critical for the rehabilitation of women offenders. On the stage, they produce ground-breaking and award-winning plays which dramatise women’s experience of, and relationship to, crime and punishment. / @CleanBrk

For further information please contact Ros Terry on 020 7482 8623 /

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