From: Gulb Marketing [gulbmarketing_at_kent_dot_ac_dot_uk]

Sent: 01 November 2016 15:35

Subject: RELEASE Key Change at Gulbenkian, 15 November

Attachments: KEYCHANGE_pressrelease.docx


Open Clasp presents


Tue 15 Nov 7.30pm
Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Honest, powerful and very funny portrayal of the lives of women in prison


What do women in prison say to a captured audience of men? Devised by women in HMP Low Newton Key Change is a unique opportunity to hear their voices. Honest, powerful, and very funny, Key Change is a raw and illuminating portrayal of the lives of women in prison.  Bear witness to these incredible stories at Gulbenkian on Tuesday 15 November at 7.30pm.


The play originally toured to male prisons before moving audiences and critics at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe and going on to win the prestigious Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award with a New York premiere in January 2016, receiving a New York Times Critics' Pick. Open Clasp also presented the show in women's high-security prisons in both Edinburgh and New York State.


Writer and Open Clasp Artistic Director Catrina McHugh said, "Our aim is to change the world one play at a time, winning the Best of Edinburgh award changed ours. The response to Key Change, both at the Fringe and internationally, and in the prisons we've visited, has been overwhelming but the success of this project is down to the collaboration with women from Low Newton prison so I thank each and every woman who put their trust in us to tell their stories."

True to their mission to change the world one play at a time, Open Clasp performed Key Change to at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 25 October in partnership with the National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice, CLiNKS and the Prison Reform Trust. The invited audience included key decision- and policy-makers.


Key Change was part of the Northern Stage at Summerhall programme at the Edinburgh Fringe, hosting work from both established and emerging artists to showcase the finest work from the North of England at the world's largest international arts festival. 


"Exquisite" ????The Guardian "A touching, empowering work" ?????The Stage

"A remarkable production" ???? The Observer

"A moving, intimate and superbly acted drama" New York Times Critics' Pick


Key Change will be at Gulbenkian on Tuesday 15 November 7.30pm. The performance is suitable for ages 14+.  Tickets are ?12.50 (Student & Under16s ?8.50). For tickets call 01227769075 or visit



Press Contact:

Images can be downloaded here:


For interviews please contact: Helen Fussell PR & Communications, or call Helen on 07801 369 778.


For more information, press tickets and images please contact:
Jess Thomas, Marketing Officer, 01227 827956, j.l.thomas_at_kent_dot_ac_dot_uk
David Yard, Head of Marketing, 01227 824688, d.yard_at_kent_dot_ac_dot_uk

Or visit our press site for images:


About Gulbenkian

Gulbenkian is a key part of the University of Kent's Arts Centre offering innovative, engaging and high quality arts activity for and with the public, staff and students. It provides a key role in delivering the University of Kent's commitment to Public Engagement proving an interface between the University and the local and wider community Gulbenkian has a particular commitment to the creative empowerment of children and young people and talent development.


Arts Council England NPO

On 1 April 2015, Gulbenkian became an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. To find out more about this please see the Arts Council England website.



Open Clasp's award-winning work is informed by the lived experiences of marginalised women, rooted in the belief that theatre changes lives. After winning a national award for outstanding contribution to creatively raising awareness of violence against women and children, Open Clasp were commissioned by Dilly Arts on an innovative project to work in HMP&YOI Low Newton to give women in prison a voice. The UK has one of the highest rates of women's imprisonment in Western Europe - over 50% of women in prison report having suffered domestic abuse, 1 in 3 has suffered sexual abuse and nearly 40% leave prison homeless. 


Writer and Artistic Director Catrina McHugh explains, "These are shared theme in the lives of many of the women we work with and therefore a common focus in our work. Key Change continues and builds on this work through our unique brand of hard-hitting, thought-provoking but very funny plays which highlight the women as survivors rather than victims and honour their talent, courage and strength."


The 2007 Corston Report recommended community alternatives to custodial sentencing for women in the Criminal Justice System through the provision of gender-specific, high quality support services and expertise. The women's sector, including Women in Prison and Women Centred Working, are pioneering alternative women-centred models of working to rehabilitate and support women who are involved or at risk of being involved in the Criminal Justice System.


Two of the cast members - Jessica Johnson (The Space Between Us, Open Clasp) who plays Angie and Cheryl Dixon (Rattle & Roll, Open Clasp) who plays Lucy - were involved in the project from the beginning, supporting women in HMP Low Newton to tell their stories. They are joined by Christina Berriman Dawson (The Bodies, Live Theatre) as Kelly, Judi Earl (King Lear, Contact Theatre Co) as Kim and Kate McCheyne as Lorraine.









Marketing Officer
| University of Kent
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NB United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)1227 827956
Twitter: _at_TheGulbenkian


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