Sunderland theatre will stage play which tackles domestic abuse

A new play which tackles domestic abuse will be under the spotlight as part of this season's Sunderland Stages programme.

Tuesday, 26th September 2017, 12:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 09:45 am
OPEN CLASP production of RATTLESNAKE by Catrina McHugh directed by Charlotte Bennett

Rattle Snake will be staged at The Royalty Theatre, off Chester Road, at 7.30pm on October 4.

From the makers of the critically-acclaimed prison drama Key Change, Rattle Snake is an unflinching new play based on the real life stories of women who have faced and survived coercive control in domestic abuse.

A co-production between Open Clasp and Live Theatre, Rattle Snake is written by Catrina McHugh MBE and directed by Charlotte Bennett, associate director at Soho Theatre.

Coinciding with the change in UK law in 2015 making coercive control in relationships a crime, Rattle Snake was originally commissioned by Durham University and Durham Constabulary, funded by Durham PCVC and is used in the training of frontline police officers.

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PC Tony Miley was one of 398 officers at Durham Constabulary who took part in the training with Open Clasp.

He said: “This was, by a country mile, the most engaging, impactful and thought-provoking training session I have had in my 14-year career in the police. Very emotive topic and excellently portrayed by the two tremendously talented actors – it blew my socks off.”

Durham Police, Crime & Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg said: “This play provided an innovative approach to training here in Durham.

“It provided front-line officers with a unique opportunity to learn through theatre, so that they would further understand coercive control in domestic abuse, and the day-to-day incidents which victims suffer though this appalling crime.”

As with Key Change, which was created with women serving at HMP Low Newton in County Durham, Rattle Snake was inspired by the women who put their trust in Open Clasp to tell their stories.

l Rattle Snake will head to The Royalty Theatre as part of Sunderland Stages programme. Tickets at