Milly Thomas's self-written piece, Dust, in which she also stars in the lead role of Alice, is set to transfer to Trafalgar Studios come September. The monologue won a Stage Edinburgh Award for its premiere at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Pictured: Milly Thomas in Dust
Following the sell-out run of Dust at the Edinburgh Fringe festival, the piece transferred to London's Soho Theatre last Spring for a limited run. When speaking of her play back in February, Thomas admitted, "I had the idea [for Dust] about six years ago but I was too frightened to write it because I knew I would have to perform it."
The young actress and playwright had no experience in writing prior to her acting career but decided to give it a go, sending one of her works as an unsolicited submission to several theatres in the off chance that they would pick it up. Only when her acting agent saw the work was it sent to a literary agent. And then, eventually, Thomas wrote Dust and the rest is history.
The monologue tells the story of Alice, a seemingly happy girl on the outside who suffers from chronic depression on the inside. When her depression spirals out of control, she decides to take her own life. But what was supposed to be a simple suicide for her turns into a voyeuristic nightmare as she is forced to witness the consequences of her actions. As she watches her friends and family struggle with the aftermath of her death, she comes to realise that death is not the change she had hoped for.
Despite the serious subject matter at play, there is plenty of comedic relief and hilarious scenarios to lighten up the mood. Thomas has described the play as 'bleak' but also 'about life and finding the joy'.
Milly Thomas attended drama school much to the dismay of her parents and graduated from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2014. Her first feature full-length play, A First World Problem, premiered at Theatre503 in July 2014 to much critical acclaim. Thomas's alma mater then commissioned her to write 2015's Piggies. Her next play, Clickbait, opened the spring 2016 season at Theatre503 and enjoyed a sell-out run and extension.
In addition to her contributions to theatre, Thomas has also written for a number of television series, the likes of which include Clique and River City for BBC, and she is an improviser for the improvisation troupe The Beau Zeaux. Her wide range of experience makes her an entertainment powerhouse and an emerging star to watch.
Dust is directed by Sara Joyce and also features sound design by Mac Perryment, lighting design by Jack Weir, and set design by Anna Reid.
Milly Thomas's Dust opens at Trafalgar Studios on 4 September and will run until 13 October. Follow Alice down the rabbit hole as she discovers the power of her actions in this gripping and thought-provoking one-woman show.
Purchase your Dust tickets here.