January 2018

I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. trip

By Julia Samuels
Directed for Television by Lindy Heymann

Film adaptation of our verbatim play about young women and abortion

The film adaptation of I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. trip… will premier internationally at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2019.

I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. Trip… is a frank, funny and moving film about four young women’s abortion experiences, told verbatim from real interviews, with spoken word and Afro-urban music.

The show deals with challenging themes, but filmed on the 50th anniversary of the legalisation of abortion in Britain, writer Julia Samuels explores the way in which society treats this subject and how this impacts on women today.

And importantly asks what would happen if we started to talk openly about it?

The film uses the theatre technique of recorded delivery, where the actors listen to the real recorded interviews through earphones and repeat the words as they hear them, bringing the audience as close to the truth behind the words as possible. Featuring interviewees from Great Britain and Northern Ireland and beyond, we meet health professionals, women, men and young people on all sides of the debate.

Originally conceived as a theatre piece, by 20 Stories High and Contact, I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. Trip… toured to theatre and community venues across the UK in 2017

Its film journey began shortly after, when theatre professionals Julia Samuels and Roxanne Moores joined forces with film director Lindy Heymann to translate the piece as a BBC/Arts Council England commission which was first broadcast on BBC Two in January 2018.

The experience of having an abortion is such a taboo in society, and many women feel that they have to keep it a secret.

We are pleased to be able to share these stories far and wide, and help combat the stigma around something that happens to 1 in 3 British women in their lifetimes.

I told my Mum I was going on an R.E. trip… play texts are available to purchase HERE.

Image credit: Gary Moyes

Images and Video

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Paige Emma Burns

Leah Jamie Lee-O’Donnell

Tanaya Aizah Khan

Cousin Dorcas Sebuyange

All other parts are played by the cast.

Creative Team

Director Lindy Heymann

Writer and Producer Julia Samuels

Composer Keith Saha

Director of Photography Deepa Keshvala

Production Designer Miriam Nabarro

Art Director Kitty Walker

Costume Designer Louisa Thomas

Editor Mark Elliot

Producer Roxanne Moores

Line Producer Sarah Lewis

Executive Producer Justine Potter

Executive Producer for BBC Emma Cahusac

Associate Producers for ACE Neil Darlinson and Cassandra Mathers

Performance Live Strand Producers Battersea Arts Centre and Andrew Fettis

Thank you to all the interviewees, Arts Council England, BBC, Battersea Arts Centre, The Wellcome Trust, Dr. Jayne Kavanagh UCL, Erik Rehl, LA Productions.

“This is as far removed from a sexual health lecture as you could imagine”

Sunday Times Critics Choice

“A powerful drama on abortion”

**** TV Times

“You need to watch BBC Two's new programme on abortion... it's a must a see”

Elle UK

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