Timely debut play is chosen for two prestigious festival

An activist’s first play, about three very different women’s responses to the #MeToo movement, has been chosen to be performed at two festivals this summer.

Nina Millns‘ Delete is already longlisted for the PapaTango New Writing Prize and is being adapted for radio by Wireless Theatre.

Ms Millns, from Putney, has written a funny, poignant and ultimately shocking play about an unlikely friendship between three women in a world saturated in online abuse, addiction and sexual violence.

Tanya uses the internet to move away from a life of addiction into self-actualisation.

Her parole officer, Sue, is immersed in the digital dating scene. Patricia is introduced to the web late in life through Tanya’s Community Service scheme, and by chance finds herself embroiled in the darker side of the online world through a heartbreaking story about sexual abuse.

She is plunged deeper into a mess of political cover-ups and direct action that culminates in tragedy.

The diversity of ages, class and ethnic backgrounds aims to ensure a fresh perspective on contemporary life – all done with a healthy dose of humour.

PapaTango said: “The three incredibly nuanced, complex and unpredictable, yet relatable women that have been created are total triumphs.”

Ms Millns is an actress, writer and activist who founded the comedy collective Bad Handshake. Her TV work includes Channel 4’s Phoneshop, BBC Radio 4’s Giles Wemmbley Hogg and a series of radio plays for Wireless Theatre.

She said: “The online world is a completely different experience for women. They are so much more vulnerable to trolling, threats of violence and rape and porn revenge. It can be quite a tightrope navigating all this.

“I wanted to write a story that showed a range of women from different backgrounds and how the online world affected them, how they were all equally vulnerable in some way. But it was also important to create space to explore the positive side of the internet.

“When the criminal justice system was failing so many women, they turned to social media and created the #MeToo movement which has changed the law and has seen people arrested and convicted.

“That’s huge and powerful. Without the campaigns on Twitter, the vote to repeal the abortion ban in Ireland just wouldn’t have been as effective – people were offering to pay for flights, to pick people up from the airport, as well as sharing information and resources. I wanted to explore how we are holding all of this at once – the new power and community that the online world brings, and the isolation and abuse, too.

“I had an idea about three very different women from different backgrounds and I wanted to explore how their lives might intersect and how the world and the current climate might affect them. I incorporate traits and details from real people and real situations with my own imagination.

“I’ve been overwhelmed at the response. We’re recording the radio version at the same time as the live shows. We’ve got some great workshops planned with amazing charities like My Body Back and On Road Media, supporting people directly affected by the issues raised in the play, and I would love to see it go on to have a run at a theatre in London.”

The cast features Balvinder Sopal, whose TV credits include Mumtaz in Call The Midwife; Aafiyah Choudray in Doctors; DC Khan in Emmerdale, The Street III, Steel River Blues and Coronation Street for ITV; Waterloo Road; and Anatomy Of A Crime.

The annual RADA Festival, a springboard for new talent, aims to challenge, inspire and provoke urgent social and political questions.

Work presented at previous festivals has subsequently been performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Brighton Fringe Festival, Prague Fringe, Trafalgar Studios, Park Theatre and many more.

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