Clean! is a rousing and award-winning musical about the ordinary and extraordinary women of laundry hill, Brighton. It celebrates women’s resilience and sisterhood (dare we say feminism?!) across 150 years of history.
At the premiere in June, audiences and critics alike loved it, and several reviewers said it belongs in the West End. This project is about making that happen.
THE STORY SO FAR
Clean! tells the stories of the women of Roundhill, an area of Brighton, England once known for its laundries. It explores themes of hardship, suffrage and sexuality, as well as celebrating women's resilience and mutual support.
With book and lyrics by Sam Chittenden and music by Simon Scardanelli, Clean! won the Outstanding Theatre Award at Brighton Fringe 2021.
Audiences and critics loved it. Several reviewers said that it belongs in the West End, and we really want to make that happen. We are aiming to stage a showcase production in London in November. This will be an opportunity to invite producers and London-based reviewers to see the show, from which we hope to achieve a West End transfer or national tour. We would love you to be a part of that journey.
Here is what some of the critics said:
"touched everyone's hearts"; "has the spirit of Les Miserables, and a strong potential to be taken into the West End" - ***** - Broadway Baby
“a triumph in every sense“; " a spine tingling musical soundscape"; "more than deserves to be seen by a very wide audience" - ***** - Latest Brighton
“This should be in the West End"; "I’ve never heard a new musical come up to this one"; "a masterwork"; "a true homage to the women it celebrates" - Outstanding Show - Fringe Review
Clean! is written as a set of interwoven monologues of women at different times in history, highlighting how much has and hasn't changed in 150 years.
Millicent (1880s) - has been a laundry worker 'all her borns'; she cares for her granddaughter after the death of her daughter in childbirth
Dr Helen Boyle (1910s) - lesbian icon, pioneering GP and founder of the first hospital for ordinary women with 'nervous diseases'
Meg (1929) - a suffragette working to get women to vote in the flapper election, following in her mother's footsteps
Dot (1950) - the manageress of a laundry caught up in the smallpox outbreak after bedding from the first victim's house came there to be washed
Ruby (1970s) - a young woman running away from domestic violence to a home for 'battered women'; she later trains to be a counsellor for other women like her
Juliet (1990s) - menopausal and empty-nested, ex-campaigner Juliet reflects on her time at Greenham Common and on women's shared experiences
Tasha (2021) - returning to the family home after the deaths of her parents, Tasha finds her mother's research about the area and introduces us to the other characters
WHO WE ARE
Sam Chittenden (book writer and lyricist)
Sam is an award-winning writer and director based in Sussex, England and is Artistic Director of Different Theatre. She creates mostly female-centric work and has successfully staged a number of fringe productions in Brighton, London and Edinburgh, including So You Say, Sary, Metamorphosis and Unquiet Slumbers.
Simon Scardanelli (composer and arranger)
Simon is is a composer and songwriter with a long list of professional credits. He has released 6 solo albums, and was half of the duo Big Bam Boo who had a brief run of success in the USA & Canada in the late 80s. He has written music for theatre, including several productions for Different Theatre, art installations, sub-aqua concerts and performance art.
THE CAST (in order of appearance)
Holly Ray as Tasha
Sharon Drain as Millicent
Amelia Armande as Dot
Judey Bignell as Helen
Jack Cryer as Juliet
Anna Chloe Moorey as Meg
Rosa Samuels as Ruby
with Simon Scardanelli on guitar and Ben Alexander on Cello
Ukeles, flute, keyboard, accordion and percussion played by members of the cast.
COSTUME & DESIGN
The stories of Clean! are complemented by evocative set/space dressing by the talented Delphine du Barry, drawing on the themes of laundry, suffrage and healthcare. Delphine also created labels naming a host of suffragette women. These were hung from the trees in our debut show in a laundry drying field and used to dress the seats at our Brighton Fringe show.
The individual costumes are carefully matched to the period of that character within an overall colour palate of white, purple and green (the colours of the suffragettes).
WHAT WILL YOUR MONEY BE USED FOR?
Your investment will enable us to stage a professional production at a London Theatre. It will cover the costs of artistic fees for the cast and crew, venue hire, and press/PR activity to ensure we reach the right industry people and audiences.
Artistic and technical fees - £1900
Venue hire - £1300
Materials and Expenses - £300
PR/marketing support - £500
Any additional funding over and above our target will enable us to: stage additional performances; produce additional promotional materials including photos and video; and pay for promotional content in the musical theatre press.
BE A PART OF THE JOURNEY!
We are excited to see what is next for Clean! and determined to bring it to a wider audience. However you are able to support us in that journey, we offer you a standing ovation in return. Watch here to see what that feels like!