Open Clasp Theatre Company

Herstory Told and Rattle & Roll 2009-2010

"Herstory Told" means just that, we're telling the stories of women. We're working with women on issues including sexual exploitation, sex work, adoption and homelessness. They have created the characters for our new play Rattle & Roll which will tells the stories of women and their position in the world in 2009/10.

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1108000)




  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing
  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy


  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)



£100,000 pays for the entire project £50,000 pays for the tour £15,000 pays for 100 hours of face to face work with women £3,000 pays for 10 drama workshops £1,000 pays for a show and workshop £700 pays for a show £300 pays for a workshop. 'Rattle & Roll' is a new play which comes from the hard work and commitment of all the women and young women who took part in Open Clasp's Herstory Told project. They did fantastic work. Open Clasp are really excited about this play, which they believe will make a positive difference to the lives of women of all ages across the North East. Addressing issues that impact on the everyday lives of women including sexual exploitation, sex work, adoption and homelessness 'Rattle & Roll' will be another Open Clasp rollercoaster of a comedy drama. 'Rattle & Roll' is the culmination of Open Clasp's "Herstory Told" project. Open Clasp have been working, in partnership with specialist organisations, with local women, including women who are undertaking sex work in order to survive. These women are largely hidden, extremely vulnerable, marginalised, stigmatised and frequently subject to abuse. They are often not receiving the most basic of services such as medical care, housing, benefits, drug and alcohol services and sexual health care and many do not have the knowledge, confidence or self-esteem to improve their lives. Open Clasp have also been working with homeless young women who are at risk of, and/ or have experience of sexual exploitation and with birth mothers looking at the affect losing a child to adoption, following state intervention, has on their lives. The issues covered were chosen through local knowledge, following requests from organisations in the region, consultation with our members, supporters and organisations we’ve worked with over the last 10 years. A series of drama workshops took place with women who are facing very challenging, socially excluding circumstances. The participants created characters, informed by their own experiences, and learned skills and gained knowledge to improve their circumstances and life chances through their character. Each groups character is now being brought together in Rattle & Roll - a brand new piece of awareness-raising theatre which will be taken back to local communities accompanied by drama workshops enabling interaction with the characters to further explore the issues, as well as mainstream venues in the North East of England. The tour will take place over 8 weeks in February and March 2010 and is expected to reach around 3000 people.