Preview: Rattle Snakes Comes to Sunderland

Photo Credit:Mark SavagePhoto Credit:Mark Savage

Photo Credit:Mark Savage

As part part of Sunderland Stages    Open Clasp and Live Theatre in association with York Theatre Royal are bringing Rattle Snake on the 4th October.

Rattle Snake is a new piece of theatre that tackles coercive controlling domestic abuse. Taken from real life stories from women who are experiencing this,  the play was originally commissioned by  Durham University and Durham Constabulary, funded by Durham PCVC and is used in the training of frontline police officers.

Coercive control is a term developed by Evan Stark to help us understand domestic abuse as more than a “fight”. It is a pattern of behaviour which seeks to take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self. It is not just women’s bodily integrity which is violated but also their human rights.


Writer and Artistic Director Catrina McHugh explained:  “During the training officers sat in bullet proof vests daring us to make an impact and we did, now we take it to a national audience. It was a total honour to collaborate with the women who inspired the story.  I believe that Rattle Snake is important theatre, it takes your breath away and will change lives.”

Open Clasp makes truthful, risk taking and award-winning theatre informed by the lived experiences of working class women.  The company takes a special interest in women and young women from the North of England, shining a light on their experiences through our work.

Open Clasp makes space for debate, encouraging our audiences to walk in the shoes of the most disempowered women in society.


Graeme Thompson, Creative Producer, Live Theatre added, “ Live Theatre is delighted to continue its long association with Open Clasp to present Rattle Snake, an important new play based on the true stories of women who have suffered and survived controlling relationships. We are delighted that this co-production will also tour to be seen by audiences at Theatre Royal York, and Soho Theatre, London.”



Rattle Snakes is on at The Royalty Theatre, 4th October 7.30pm.


For more information click here 

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