Company Name: Clean Break
Writer: Jacki Holborough
Director: Penny Cherns
Cast: Jenny Hicks and Jacki Holborough
Decade is about the crushing effect of long-term imprisonment, the plays performance coincided with the 1984 Home Securities minimum sentencing of 20 years. The play is set in the controversial female security wing at Durham Prison and tells the story, based on fact of a woman sentenced in 1974 to a total of 298 years imprisonment.
‘Decade came about after Jenny and I were involved in a campaign to close the womens maximum security unit at Durham. We had kept in touch as much as possible with Judy Ward, serving 12 life sentences for IRA related offences. Judy had been on hunger strike for better conditions and to be moved from the unit where she had been a prisoner for ten years (hence the title). I wasn’t fully satisfied with the play so after Edinburgh and a short tour, I rewrote the play as The Sin Eaters which Jenny and I toured again as a two-hander, directed by Ann Mitchell. Commissioned by the National Theatre I later rewrote the play yet again as The Way South, this time a three-hander. It was a National Theatre/Bush co-production at the Bush Theatre in 1989. Judy Ward finally had her convictions quashed in the court of appeal in 1992 after 18 years in jail.’
Jacki Holborough, 2013