Written by Sam Chittenden, Clean tells the stories of seven women living on Brighton’s Laundry Hill (or Round Hill) from 1870 to 2020. For over 100 years, roundhill was a hub of service industries catering for Brighton and Hove, including many laundries, a flour mill, market gardens and even a golf ball factory!
Clean includes the 1950 smallpox outbreak linked to the Tivoli laundry on Crescent Road. It also tells the story of Dr Helen Boyle, one of the first female GPs in Brighton, who established the first specialised women’s mental health hospital at 101 Roundhill Crescent in 1905. The Roundhill Society are currently campaigning to have a blue plaque put on the house.
Clean also tells the fictional stories of a number of women working and living in the area, drawing together themes of mental illness, sexuality, suffrage and emancipation, domestic violence, motherhood and the sistership of working women. It highlights how much has changed – and how much hasn’t – in 150 years. Whilst it deals with tough subjects, it is ultimately an uplifting story.
Clean will be staged as a site-specific promenade performance, taking place outdoors in what was once a laundry drying field of the Mayo laundry.