CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Review: Inside Bitch, at Royal Court Upstairs

09 March, 2019 — By Lucy Popescu

TerriAnn Oudjar and Lucy Edkins in Inside Bitch. Photo: Ali Wright

CLEAN Break was founded in 1979 by two female prisoners who wanted to use theatre to highlight their experiences and dispel some of the myths about prison life. The Kentish Town-based company’s 40th anniversary show remains definitively true to these aims.

Conceived by Stacey Gregg and Deborah Pearson, Inside Bitch is a playful deconstruction of how to make a truthful play-TV-film about female detainees, performed by women with experience of the criminal justice system.

The four-strong ensemble, Lucy Edkins, Jennifer Joseph, TerriAnn Oudjar and Jade Small, play cards, deliberate possible themes, plot a narrative arc, try on costumes, attempt a TV pitch and imagine themselves as Hollywood stars. At the same time, they highlight the stereo­types, clichés and popular misconceptions of so much prison drama. It’s anti-theatre, delib­erately anarchic and a lot of fun.

Over the course of an hour, we are offered glimpses of their thoughts and memories, interspersed with humorous anecdotes and observations.

It’s fast-paced and imagina­tively presented – there’s free popcorn and the stage manager, Crystal, becomes part of the show. The end result is sketchy but that’s the point. There’s a limit to what we can know about their lives and often the women’s silence is the most revealing.

Until 23 March
020 7565 5000

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