The theatre company, the artists, the criminal justice system experiences and the community

2 Metres Apart

An online artistic collaboration between professional theatre artists and Clean Break’s Members, women with experience of the criminal justice system or at risk of entering it.

Clean Break is a theatre company, changing lives and minds on stage, in prison and in the community.

They matched 12 professional theatre artists with 12 of their members . Over 8 weeks the pairs met digitally to work creatively, share ideas, and see what arose from the process of being creative at a distance. They could choose how they would work together, potentially co-writing together, for  each to respond to a selected stimulus, or for one artist to write for their partner to perform. Working on the understanding that both artists’ skills and lived experience are valued, the pairs worked as collaborators on an equal footing to explore what creative partnership could look like.  The project is focused on practise rather than product, providing our collaborators the space to explore and experiment. The result was a diverse group of art works including short plays, music, short films, monologues, and sound installations.


How did the collaboration come about?

Led by Clean Break’s commitment to the alchemy between professional artists and our Members, Artistic Directors Anna Herrmann and Róisín McBrinn conceived 2 Metres Apart shortly after lockdown. They reached out to 12 professional artists to see if they would like to collaborate with the company. The project was opened to Clean Break’s Members and 20 women applied to take part. 12 were selected and paired with the professional artists. It was then up to them to figure out how to collaborate and work together, supported by Clean Break.


What were the most important factors that contributed to the success of this project?

Awaiting information


Project funding

Generously funded by the Evan Cornish Foundation.


Will the project continue beyond COVID-19 lockdown?

They are assessing how to move forward with each piece and look forward to sharing the legacy of these collaborations at a future point when we can enjoy live performance together again.


Any other comments?

The availability of computers, access to the internet and technical support was vital for the project. Thanks to emergency funding from the London Community Foundation we were able to provide phone credit, internet access and devices to get our Members online and able to take part in projects like this one as well as to access essential support and services.