Saturday, 7 June 2014

Key Change


Key Change
Live Theatre
Saturday 7th June 2pm
Written by Catrina McHugh
Directed by Laura Lindow

It's been awhile since I've taken part in a standing ovation at the theatre but Open Clasp and Dilly Arts' Key Change was fully deserving of the entire audience being on their feet at the end of the show. The project worked with female prisoners to explore their stories to then put them on for a male audience. Following this, Key Change has came to Live Theatre to share their stories with the wider community.

The play shows, in simple terms prisoners are people too, everyone has a back story. Everyone has a reason for getting to where they are. Key Change tackled the issues of domestic violence and drug abuse in a brave, head-on manner, giving me a few teary moments. The stories aren't just stories of five women prisoners, they are stories of nations of women suffering domestic abuse in silence or feeling like taking drugs is the only way to escape their lives. The women featured are far from prison sentences, they are stories to be invested in and supported to regain their lives.

Key Change is far from an all doom and gloom production, in between the serious more teary moments were points of absolute hilarity. Kudos to Jessica Johnson particularly, for a truly believable and animated performance of Angie.

Leaving Live Theatre the revolving door people of the criminal justice system were still whirring in my mind. It's no wonder people get stuck in what seems like a crime routine, if it is what you've always known how does one undo that learning and create a new life for themselves.

I never fail to be overwhelmed by the power of a well written theatre piece, Key Change shoots straight up into the best theatre I've seen lately.


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