About Safeword Theatre and Film
Welcome to our website! My name's Jane Upson and I'm the secretary of our organisation. Here's a little background on how we came to be!
On a sunny day in 2016, my sister Wendy and I were walking her little dog in the park, chatting away as we usually do. I was a member of Police staff at the time, working in a Community Safety Unit where for many years, I had assisted Police officers in supporting victims of both Domestic Abuse and Hate Crime. As we were ambling through the park, I asked Wendy (a published writer) what she thought about writing an article to raise awareness of coercive control as a little known form of Domestic Abuse. The plan was that I would send her some notes based on my experience of working with victims, and she would then write the article.
When she began to think about the task ahead, Wendy soon became convinced that in order to raise awareness in the most impactful way, the subject matter should be conveyed in a play format. Whilst we both agreed on this approach, we had no actors, no venue, and most importantly, no money to contemplate such an ambitious venture any further! However being two very tenacious and determined sisters, we managed to raise sufficient funding from the local community to pay for professional actors. The local council also gave us free use of its council chamber as a venue allowing Wendy to begin writing "Waking Up Dead". It was a very powerful story raising awareness of the many guises of coercive control culminating in the death of a young wife at the hands of her violent controlling husband. There were still many hoops to jump before casting and rehearsals could begin. Before going any further it was necessary that the content of the play was ratified by senior Police officers and specialist support groups so that it would be viewed as a credible accurate story line. Eventually we were given the go ahead and it was all hands to the deck.
We have since joined forces with two friends, Kim Pike, and Vincent Murray in order to form our company ’Safeword Theatre and Film Production Ltd” as we continue to satisfy our organisation mission statement.
Read more about our founder biographies.
Photo: (l-r) Vincent, Jane, Wendy and Kim - Photo by John Dawson.