Emily Howell, who left Howell's School, Llandaff GDST in 2011, has been winning acclaim for Looking For Mummy: Nazanin's Story, a play she has written and produced and also stars in. The play uncovers the true and still unfolding story of Nazanin Zagahri-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian charity worker detained in Iran.
When Emily left Howell's she studied Acting at Bath Spa University, and then set up Howell Productions to promote the talent of a group of performers she graduated alongside in July 2014. Their work as actors, singers, directors and producers continues to cover a wide variety of performance genres including films, cabarets, sketch shows and more recently, documentaries.
With the support of Nazanin's husband Richard Ratcliffe, Emily wrote Looking for Mummy: Nazanin's Story, which tells the true story of what happened and is continuing to happen to Nazanin and her family since the day she was detained. Currently held in prison in Tehran by the Revolutionary Guard, Nazanin is accused of being a British spy, and has been sentenced to five years imprisonment.
The play is constantly being updated as Nazanin's story unfolds so audience members never see the same show twice. The production premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017 in August, received 4 stars from The Independent, and was called a must-see show. While still in Edinburgh, Emily learnt that the show had been longlisted for the Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award 2017.
Emily and her cast have performed the play at the Amnesty UK headquarters, and at the Thomas Reuters Foundation in London. Keen to get the work seen by as many people as possible, Emily has just successfully crowd-funded over £5000, which will allow her to tour the production through the UK in 2018, to raise awareness of Nazanin's plight and share her story, as well as the stories of those imprisoned with her.