In 2011, a major legal scandal broke. It was revealed that that an undercover police officer had – for years – been living among political activists in Nottingham. Not only had he been spying on legitimate protest groups but, in his undercover persona, he had been engaging in a long-term, intimate relationships with individuals within. Including Ms Kate Wilson who, on the 19th February 2016, won her legal case against Scotland Yard. In a legal twist, Ms Wilson's victory also means she may never see documents that explain how and why she was targeted. The bloody cheek of it.
Initially dismissed by police as a 'rogue officer', it soon became clear that he was not alone and that undercover police had been spying on activists for decades. Not only had they been forming supposedly loving relationships with female activists, they’d even fathered their children.
All of this mucky behaviour was fully sanctioned and funded by Special Branch. With the subsequent collapse of high profile legal cases following these revelations, in July 2015, Lord Justice Pitchford opened a public inquiry into undercover policing.
LeftLion are now proud sponsors of the Nottingham Playhouse production Any Means Necessary. Written by Kefi Chadwick, the play is a fictionalised account of what happened, but is inspired by unprecedented access to the women and legal teams present in the case, and interviews with many of those involved. It’s a dramatic insight into how the abuse was perpetrated, the emotional costs it wrought and the victim's’ drive to find out the truth about the men who had, for years, systematically and devastatingly deceived them.
Kefi Chadwick says, “These cases show an incredible abuse of human rights and civil liberties and are one of the biggest police scandals of all time. To be able to bring the events to life on the stage at Nottingham where one of the worst offenders lived and spied is a great privilege and an important part of the victims right to have their stories heard.”
Giles Croft, Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse and director of Any Means Necessary, says, “We are thrilled to be working with Kefi on the telling of this important story which has local, national and international implications. The beauty of her approach is to centre the drama on the human cost of the undercover police operations and to examine the effects on the families on both sides of the divide.”
This play brings to a close the Nottingham Playhouse Conspiracy Season, which saw a series of productions exploring the secrets, surveillance and the misuse of power including the incredible 1984, The Rubenstein Kiss
and The Duchess of Malfi
Any Means Necessary opens on Friday 5 February at Nottingham Playhouse.