Last night the Thomson Reuters Foundation hosted a special performance of ‘Looking for Mummy: Nazanin’s Story’, a play about the ongoing detention of our colleague Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who has been imprisoned in Iran for over 550 days. The play chronicles the struggle of Nazanin and her family after her arrest in April 2016 as she departed Iran with her then one-year-old daughter Gabriella.
At the centre of the story is the painful separation of Nazanin, Gabriella, and her husband Richard Ratcliffe. As Nazanin’s physical and mental health deteriorate, Richard campaigns from London for her release. The script draws on Richard’s blog updates and the letters Nazanin has sent from prison, as well as video footage of events supporting Nazanin in the UK and of Gabriella growing up with her grandparents in Iran.
The performance was followed by a discussion between the director Emi Howell, Richard Ratcliffe and the Foundation’s CEO Monique Villa. “The courage of Richard and the courage of Nazanin are an example for all of us”, said Monique. Richard praised Howell’s portrayal of what his family has been through and how she captured the strength of Nazanin, and concluded with a message of hope: “It’s important for Nazanin to keep going. We don’t know what works, but she knows we care […] what will get us through it will be the kindness in this room, the kindness in this play, this kindness from all of you. We have a life ahead of us”.
Richard posts regular updates to his campaign to free Nazanin and reunite his family, where his petition to the UK government has nearly reached its target of 1,000,000 signatures.
Photos from the event can be viewed here.
‘Looking for Mummy: Nazanin’s Story’ will be performed in London in October and November before a planned tour in the spring of 2018. The next performance is on 23 October at 7pm at the office of Amnesty International UK. You can book free tickets here.