Rattle Snake

An epic tale based on real-life stories of women who have faced and survived coercive controlling domestic abuse.

Available to watch as part of the 16 Days of Activism to end violence against women and girls. Click HERE to book your ticket and watch between 25 November and 10 December 2021.

Spine-tingling and visceral, Rattle Snake will literally take your breath away. A story with no ending; a chance meeting with one man changes the lives of two women forever. Now they both live trying to predict the unpredictable.

Written by Catrina McHugh MBE | Directed by Charlotte Bennett

Rattle Snake, a co-production between Open Clasp and Live Theatre

Age Recommendation: 15+

The women in the Open Clasp production walked right out of the pages of my book. The characters come alive, elicit compassion, cry out for justice. We feel the magic go out of them. The play compels discussion and response. This is living theatre at its best. Evan Stark, expert on coercive control and writer of Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life (Interpersonal Violence)

Now a captured film, Rattle Snake has been used to train over 1,200 police officers and staff, has been watched online by over 16,000 people online and used by over 100 organisations as part of training/awareness raising. This powerful film, accompanied with training tools and/or workshops can be used to train work forces in coercive control or as part of a conference. To find out how you can access Rattle Snake, please email info@openclasp.org.uk

Theatre production will help Cleveland Police handle domestic abuse – Northern Echo

“Fantastic course, best I’ve ever been on. Actual awareness of the subject matter. May it be rolled out to everyone!” Cleveland Police, feedback

“Thought-provoking. The day opened a gateway to seeing and perceiving some things in a different light. A great positive amongst the negatives in my daily role.” Cleveland Police, feedback

To find out more on how you could use the film to raise awareness and use as training, please click here.

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 (University College Cork), 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 lawmaking coercive control in relationships a crime in 2015.

Read about how Catrina McHugh MBE created Rattle Snake here.

Anna Reid discusses her inspiration for the set of Rattle Snake here.

Continuing their long association with Live Theatre, in 2017 and 2018 Rattle Snake toured nationally to critical acclaim. The company partnered with Women’s Aid, academics, Durham PCC Ron Hogg, politicians and regional front-line services such as Changing Lives, West End Women and Girls Centre and EVA Women’s Aid, Redcar to discuss coercive control in post-show discussions.

Click HERE for Sources of Information and Support

An Open Clasp and Live Theatre production, originally produced in association with York Theatre Royal (2017). Originally funded by Arts Council England, The Newcastle Cultural Investment Fund through the Community Foundation and the Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust.