Key Change at the Edinburgh Festival

On the 8th of September, Key Change started a three week run at the Edinburgh Festival performing each day at the Summerhall venue. The Radio Times listed Key Change as one of the top ten performances to see at the festival.

The Guardian has provided this fantastic review of the play, they said,

“We all probably think we know what it’s like for women in prison. After all, over the years there’s been the theatre work created by Clean Break, set up by two female prisoners, and the success of Orange Is the New Black on TV. But Key Change gives us the news from HMP Low Newton straight from the mouths of the women incarcerated there. Many are survivors of domestic abuse, some are addicted to drugs; all are crushed by lack of contact with children and families. The latter serve their own sentences alongside the women; you just can’t see the bars.

Key Change is performed by four fantastic professional actors, but it was devised by the women inside the prison with help of writer Catrina McHugh and director Laura Lindow. Despite the input from Open Clasp theatre, the voices are of the women themselves, often raw, always heartfelt and sometimes singing with an everyday poetry as if the devising process had unlocked a waterfall of creativity.

Don’t get the wrong idea: this is art, not social work. There is an exquisite Black Watch-style moment when the women get letters from home that soar across the stage like birds; another when, during a prison visit, the gap between what is said and what is being thought is made manifest. The show snakes back on itself in surprising ways so that we question our initial reactions: a violent opening scene is repeated, but this time with context.

In fact, the entire show could be seen as a way of contextualising the lives of women in prison, concentrating not only on why and how they got there, but on their hopes for the future, too. Where they are is not the end of the story, only part of it. Not bad. Not victims. Just women. And like all of us.”

Tickets still available

You can still buy tickets for Key Change at the Edinburgh Festival by following this link: