for Arts
& Culture
Theatre | Newcastle upon Tyne

Open Clasp

Open Clasp is a multi-award winning women’s theatre company based in the North East of England.

Their aim is to ‘Change the World, One Play at a Time’ by placing theatre at the heart of transforming the lives of disadvantaged women and girls.

Open Clasp collaborates with women and young women excluded by theatre and society to create bold and urgent theatre for personal, social and political change. Their productions are performed to audiences ranging from the participants’ own communities to the country’s highest decision-makers, performances that get people talking and that contribute to social change.

Open Clasp

Open Clasp

Open Clasp

Open Clasp Don't Forget the Birds © Keith Pattison

Target Beneficiaries

Open Clasp work with women and girls often excluded by theatre and society. They work with young people in communities, schools, colleges and pupil referral units and with women who are affected by the criminal justice system within prisons and in community settings.

Open Clasp’s high-quality theatre is used to influence public opinion, train service providers and influence policy debates. Their work is supported by their collaborators and the partnerships they nurture in the women’s service sector, community organisations and academia.

Open Clasp aim to listen, build power in communities, advocate, challenge and ignite activism. The work resonates deeply into the communities where it is created and ensures that outside these communities, the under-represented are seen in a new light.


Open Clasp collaborate with women to draw out their collective voices, voices that through a devising process become powerful professional theatre productions. These productions are performed in theatres, prisons, schools, conferences, and community centres.

In addition to professional theatre productions, they offer performances for conferences and events, as well as organisation workshops. They provide theatre based training tools for police, care providers, and those dealing with homophobic bullying, cyber bullying and domestic violence.

West End Women and Girls Centre is a key partner.


Open Clasp has reached:




Open Clasp has partnered with 176 Community groups, service providers, theatres, universities, colleges and schools.

Statistics from the ‘Rattle Snake’ production:





Open Clasp’s work is in demand regionally and nationally to tackle pressing contemporary problems. They are regularly commissioned to develop and deliver projects which look at specific issues. For example, the work ‘Rattle Snake’ was originally commissioned by Durham University and Durham Constabulary, funded by the Durham Police Crime & Victims Commissioner. After a national tour in 2017, a film of Rattle Snake was made to train frontline police officers responding to sexual and domestic violence.

View Annual Report


This is a company that does something which is not only unique, entertaining and engaging but also incredibly important. They tell stories that need to be heard and they allow their audiences to see the world through unexpected eyes.

Erica Whyman OBE, Deputy Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company

Working in workforce development I feel that this session has shown me the conversations that all professionals should be having about Domestic Abuse and my learning will be reflected in future WFD I am part of.

Durham County Council Staff, training in coercive control using the play, Rattle Snake


Arts Council England, Garfield Weston, Sir James Knott Trust, and the Tyne and Wear Community Foundation.