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Minnie Donovan (Wendy Playfair)
Full name: Minerva Edith Donovan. Minnie is one of the oddest characters ever to grace Wentworth, and is certainly the least convincing top dog by a substantial margin. She seems to have been thrown in by the writers as comic relief between Bea's exit and Myra's entrance. With her pink two piece outfits, and slightly prissy (even camp) way of speaking ("Yes, deeah"), she's like Barbara Cartland on a two year stretch. Minnie arrives with Bobbie Mitchell (405) charged with conspiracy to commit theft, and knows Ann Reynolds as she was a foster parent when Ann was working for child welfare. Actually, Minnie seems to have seen being a foster parent as an opportunity to pick out potential recruits for her shoplifting gang. She immediately starts to "mother" everyone, and tries to teach Bobbie some manners by confiscating her Walkman, and stops Joan beating up Cass Parker. Minnie sees Sonia Stevens as the biggest threat to the women's safety and makes her drink three bottles of her own brew when she catches Bobbie with it (406). As a result, Minnie becomes top dog (407) with Cass' backup, and decides she has to offer the women booze to keep them sweet, but Joan catches a visitor passing it to her. To occupy the women, she gives classes on pickpocketing technique. Minnie keeps Bobbie's tape of an incriminating conversation between Joan and Sonia (408) and gives it to Cass to look after, though Joan later forces Cass to hand it over. Meg recovers the tape after she sees Joan destroy it and throw it in a bin, and Ann is prepared to make concessions to the women if Minnie will spill the beans on Joan (409). When Minnie's visitor Billy is picked up by the police after a tipoff from an officer, Minnie organises a meeting to take action against Joan, but loses control of the women, and they attempt to lynch Joan in the shower (411). Two of the women go "missing" and Minnie assumes that David Bridges is helping them to escape, and tries to ban any further attempts (415). When Minnie confronts David, he offers to take her to the boiler room to show her how he sets women "free", but she is saved by Joan sending David on another job (416). After two bodies are discovered in the grounds, Minnie is desperate to prevent Cass being framed for the murders, and tries to make Joan look silly by lifting her keys (417). Joan, meanwhile, has found out from Sonia who has them and arranges to be found tied up in the shower block, accusing Minnie of doing it. Minnie admits to taking the keys and is sent to solitary, but Joan has her meal poisoned (418). Cass is accused of this, and further pressure from Joan leads to Cass rejecting Minnie (420). Without her support, Minnie is forced to hand over to Judy as top dog (421). After this, Minnie is reduced to minor interference in the plots between other characters. When Reb Keane uses the Glee Club trip to escape, Minnie and Bobbie go on the run for a few days (435) before taking a taxi back to Wentworth after stealing a man's wallet for the fare. When Minnie takes the blame rather than get Bobbie into trouble, she is transferred to B block (437). She has been redundant in in plot terms for quite a while, as Myra Desmond has arrived and is already being set up as the next major top dog.
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