Alice Birch | Almeida Festival, London
Dudarev Mikhail/
Clean Break

Little on the inside

by Alice Birch
Directed by Lucy Morrison
Fri 26 Jul 2013 - Mon 29 Jul 2013

On a patch of green that is nowhere to be found here, two women provide a little comfort for one another. Through stories old and new they occupy an imagined space, and invent a world in which they might live together. But how can they stay in a place that doesn't exist?

Alice Birch
is one of theatre's most exciting new voices and has worked with companies including Paines Plough,Royal Court and Arcola Theatre. Her first full length play Many Moons opened to acclaim at Theatre 503 in 2011.

We will be revealing more about this brand new commission as the work develops.

"This is a meticulously written play"
Maddy Costa, The Guardian, on Many Moons (Theatre 503)

An Almeida Festival 2013 Commission


Director Lucy Morrison and writer Alice Birch introduce Little on the inside and talk about what inspired the story, the setting and the physical space that the performance inhabited.


“Rebecca Prichard’s Dream Pill has been produced in many different spaces, from dusky theatre basements to New Scotland Yard. Staging it in the pre-performance space of a dressing room gives new dimensions to the audience’s encounter with two girls trapped in an identity they did not choose. Just outside the dressing room, Alice Birch’s play finds two imprisoned women recreating the outdoors as best they can, whilst pursuing a broader sense of freedom. We’re excited to join the Almeida Festival’s playful and radical roster, offering audiences the chance to explore the limits of physical and mental freedom.”
Lucy Perman, Executive Director

This is naturally beautiful writing that gets you by the windpipe.”

Time Out on Re-Charged 2011

Acclaimed theatre company Clean Break produces ground-breaking plays with women writers and actors at the heart of its work. Founded in 1979 by two women prisoners who needed urgently to tell their stories through theatre, the company today has an independent education programme delivering theatre opportunities to women offenders and women at risk, in custodial and community settings. Celebrated by critics and audiences across the UK, the company’s award-winning plays hit a collective nerve, humanising some of the most difficult things we need to talk about as a society.

“Clean Break is an inspiring company and this work proves how their 31 years have made them wholly qualified to explore these vitally important issues.”

The Telegraph on Charged 2010

Recent productions include: There Are Mountains by Chloë Moss (HMP & YOI Askham Grange); Dream Pill by Rebecca Prichard (Underbelly Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011; Latitude and Greenbelt Festivals 2012 and touring); Re-Charged, three plays by Sam Holcroft, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Chloë Moss (Soho Theatre London 2011); Charged, a season of six plays by E V Crowe, Sam Holcroft, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Chloë Moss, Winsome Pinnock & Rebecca Prichard (Soho Theatre London 2010); it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now by Lucy Kirkwood (Arcola Theatre London 2009, joint winner of the John Whiting Award 2010); and This Wide Night by Chloë Moss (Soho Theatre London 2008 and revived in 2009, winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Award 2009).

“Charged confronts us with complex realities of crime, the criminal justice system and those who become entangled in its web either as victims, perpetrators or custodians. Sobering, important and magnificently achieved.”
Carole Woddis,



Simone James

Simone is pleased to be working with Clean Break again, after her performance as Tunde alongside Susan Wokoma in Dream Pill (a role she is reprising for Dream Pill at this year’s Almeida Festival). She is well known for her portrayal of Becca Swanson on Eastenders, as well as for her wide reaching theatrical work.

Theatre credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stafford Shakespeare Festival); Neighbours (High Tide Festival / Nuffield Theatre); Burning Bird (Synergy Theatre Project); The Taming of the Shrew (Southwark Playhouse); Great Expectations (Watford Palace Theatre / Tour); 365 (National Theatre of Scotland / Lyric Hammersmith); Chatroom (National Theatre); Othello (Globe Theatre / Sam Wannamaker Festival).

Susan Wokoma

Since graduating from RADA in 2010, Susan has worked widely on stage and on television, with appearances in Doctors, Holby City and becoming a favourite in CBBC’s Hotel Trubble. Her first feature film, Half of a Yellow Sun, directed by Biyi Bandele, will be released this year. Alongside Simone James as Tunde she played Bola in Rebecca Prichard’s Dream Pill for Clean Break 2011/12, a role she is reprising for Dream Pill at this year’s Almeida Festival.

Theatre includes: Three Birds (Royal Exchange Manchester / Bush Theatre); The Country Wife; Powder Monkey (Royal Exchange Manchester); Dream Pill (Latitude / Greenbelt Festival); Truth and Reconciliation (Royal Court); A Bigger Banner (Southwark Playhouse); Much Ado About Nothing (NYT / Hackney Empire).

Alice Birch

Alice has been on attachment to the National Theatre and Paines Plough. She is an Associate Artist at Watford Palace Theatre and is currently writing for the Royal Court’s Open Court Soap Opera, developing two new projects with Rash Dash and writing a full-length new piece for Clean Break.

Theatre includes:
Life for Beginners; Many Moons; Auricular Seasons 1 & 2; Playlist (Theatre 503); Miniaturists (Arcola Theatre); 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic New Voices); Piece for Present: Tense (Nabokov / Southwark Playhouse); The Magpies The Wolves (Tristan Bates Theatre); Soundbytes (RichMix); Come to Where I’m From Season (Paines Plough / Oxford Playhouse); Tom and Sal (Edinburgh Fringe).

Radio includes: Absolutely Delish; Flying the Nest.

Lucy Morrison

Lucy is Artistic Director of the Almeida Festival 2013 and Head of Artistic Programme for Clean Break.

For Clean Break, Lucy originated and commissioned the Charged and Re-Charged seasons (Soho Theatre), directed Fatal Light by Chloë Moss and E V Crowe’s Doris Day and directed and developed Lucy Kirkwood’s it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now (Arcola Theatre) and Chloë Moss’ This Wide Night (Soho Theatre / Theatre Live Newcastle / Plymouth Drum Theatre). Lucy was formerly Literary Manager of Paines Plough, where she worked with many of the country’s most exciting playwrights including Dennis Kelly, Abi Morgan, Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill and Jack Thorne.

As Director credits include: Fatal Light (Soho Theatre / Latitude Festival 2011); Doris Day (Soho Theatre); it felt empty when the heart went at first but it is alright now (Arcola Theatre); This Wide Night (Soho Theatre); Housekeeping (Southwark Playhouse / Latitude Festival 2011); Product (Traverse Theatre / Royal Court Theatre Upstairs / European Tour);




26, 27 & 29 July at 9.15pm

Click here to see the full schedule for the Festival


Full £10
Concessions and Under 30s* £5
Young Friends of the Almeida £5

Double-Bill Discounts

Book a full price ticket for this show and Dream Pill on 26, 27 or 29 July and get both shows for just £15, saving £5.

Book a full price ticket for this show and Big Hits on 26 or 27 July and both shows for just £20, saving £5.

Triple- Bill Discount
Book a full price ticket for this show, Dream Pill and Big Hits on 27 July and get all three shows for just £25, saving £10.

*Concessions are available to full-time students, over 60s, those claiming Job Seekers Allowance, and Deaf and disabled patrons. Proof of eligibility may be requested.

Arts Council England ASP Group