Nadira Murray On … Vagina Monologues for V-Day

Nadira Murray (pictured) is the creator of the one woman show
The British Ambassador’s Belly Dancer, which ran at the Arcola, the
Arts Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008. The show was based on
her real life experience of meeting and becoming the mistress (and
later wife) of Craig Murray, Britain’s controversial ambassador to
Uzbekistan. Next week she’s performing in The Vagina Monologues as part of V-Day (a global campaign to end violence against women) at the New Players theatre.

“When I heard about V-Day and its shows in London, I really wanted to
get involved. I feel passionate about this cause and its aim to stop
violence against women and girls.

From my own experience I know and I feel how violence affects women
both mentally and physically. I come from Uzbekistan, a male dominated
society where women are abused and oppressed, raped and suppressed.
What’s more, these women have to keep their silence because society
makes them feel ashamed about what’s happened to them, and they end up
blaming themselves. Some of them even set fire to themselves with
kerosene, or hang themselves in order to escape.

I have talked with lots of girls about their stories. Some of them
were half burned but survived. Some of them had run away from their
family because they had been raped, which meant that because they
weren’t virgins any more, or had become pregnant from the rape, they
were seen as disgraced by their families, neighbours and society as a
whole. Some of them were beaten up by their husbands. Some of them were
forced violently to get married.

After speaking to these girls, I wished that I had a voice to speak
up for them, loud enough to be heard. I wished I could have done
something then and could have offered them more than sympathy. As I
perform in the V-Day shows I will at last have that chance. In The Vagina Monologues,
I’m speaking with the voice of many women, known and unknown. All the
women and girls, including the dead who didn’t get a chance to share
with us, not just from my country but everywhere, all over the world
where the abuse, rape and humiliation of women goes on.

The message of The Vagina Monologues is that we as women
are not victims, and we shall not be victims of our past – we are
powerful and very strong in every way. There’s a way you can help too –
if you come to see the show, you will be contributing to some great

The charities that will benefit from the shows are tackling a number
of important issues including sex trafficking, rape, and domestic
violence – but this isn’t all about charity, it’s also about seeing
some thought provoking, entertaining theatre too.

This is a well known play but our production will be different to
previous productions. Director Emma Jane Richards is really trying to
bring something new out of the monologues – it’s not about celebrities
reading monologues from cards. There are some really talented actors
involved who will bring Eve Ensler’s wonderful words to life again.

The other show being performed for V-Day at the New Players’ is A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer,
which is a compilation of pieces written by playwrights, novelists and
actors, all sorts of people, on the topic of violence against women.
It’s edited by Eve Ensler and has brand new work from people like
Edward Albee, written especially for V-Day. It sounds like it will be
really interesting and thought-provoking and I can’t wait to see it.”

For more info on V-Day performances at the New Players Theatre, click here