Our work is in demand regionally and nationally to tackle pressing contemporary problems. We are regularly commissioned to develop and deliver projects which look at specific issues. Please contact us to discuss ideas.
Examples of previous work
Based on research identifying gaps in police understanding of coercive control by Professor Nicole Westmarland and Kate Butterworth (Durham University) and the impact of arts based research interventions by Professor Maggie O’Neill, Rattle Snake was created by Open Clasp and funded by Durham PCC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to train frontline officers in better responding to sexual and domestic violence – coinciding with the change of law making coercive control in relationships a crime in 2015.
Durham Police, Crime & Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg said: “This play was an innovative approach to training here in Durham. It provided front-line officers with a unique opportunity to learn through theatre, so that they would further understand coercive control in domestic abuse, and the day-to-day incidents which victims suffer though this appalling crime.”
As with Key Change which was created with women serving at HMP Low Newton in County Durham, Rattle Snake was inspired by the women who put their trust in Open Clasp to tell their stories.
Writer and Artistic Director Catrina McHugh MBE explains, “Rattle Snake was created by Open Clasp to train frontline police officers in Co. Durham in better responding to sexual and domestic abuse, coinciding with the change in UK law in 2015 making coercive control in relationships a crime. Officers sat in bullet proof vests, daring us to make an impact and we did.”
Rattle Snake is touring May and June 2018 nationally, please click here to book tickets.
Commissioned from an original concept by Dilly Arts, the only North East of England arts development company specialising in working with people in prison, Key Change formed part of a larger project working with male and female offenders across the North East.
Key Change has gone on to win the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award, was performed off-broadway, in the Houses of Parliament and was commissioned by The Space in 2017 where a captured performance was available for free online to watch between 25th November-10th December 2017 during the UN campaign to end violence against women and girls.
The First Time is Free
In 2015 Open Clasp worked with young people in South East Northumberland to create a play and workshop about child sexual exploitation which was performed to an audience of teachers, police and other professionals working to make change happen. The work was then delivered in 2017 by young people from St Benet Biscop Catholic High School, supported by Northumberland Domestic Abuse Project and Arts Council England to Year 9 students in the 16 Northumberland High Schools in June/July 2017 to raise awareness of this issue and support change.
West End Women & Girls Centre, Newcastle are also partnering.