In conversation with seeds director Anastasia Osei-Kuffour
How would you describe the show to someone who hasn’t seen it?
seeds is a tense drama where two mothers fight for their sons, bargaining with each other to get what they desperately need and in the process bare their souls, leaving them both changed by the encounter.
What was it that initially drew you to the play?
Its subject matter drew me to the play. It explores racism and motherhood in a way that really resonates with me: placing racism in the context of families, how the ‘seeds’ of racism can grow in families, ‘take root’ and have horrifically dangerous consequences – a point that I feel is so important to highlight. It also considers how far a mother would go to protect their son. Having reached an age where I’m thinking about having children, I worry a lot about how safe the world is, whether I can keep my children safe when I bring them in this world, I think about what I would do to protect them.
Why do you think it’s important that we discuss knife crime from the perspective of mothers?
They are left dealing with the shattering aftermath for years and years after; they bring life into the world only to see it cut down. There’s a need to highlight these people so that, as a society, we can think more about how we support them to survive the deepest of tragedies.
What do you want audiences to take away from the production? What discussions do you want to inspire?
I want to inspire greater awareness of the ‘seeds’ of racism in families in the hope they can be rooted out before they cause disaster. I believe people can change and grow, people with racist views – if they would allow themselves to see it – can change and help to change others if they choose to take a stand. I want people to see the play as a warning that we all need to take xenophobia seriously and act to stamp it out. Discourse challenging racist and xenophobic rhetoric and events, like this play which allows people from diverse backgrounds to be in the same space to face these issues, will help and play a part in creating change.
What’s next for you after the tour?
I am currently Associate Director at Theatre503 which involves programming, supporting the running of the theatre and connecting with artists who want to grow their craft by engaging with us. I’ll be going back to continue my work there and I’m especially looking forward to directing Before Evening Comes, a powerful and moving drama which also explores a mothers fight to protect her son, this time in the context of a dystopian world where black men are seen as a threat and need to be cut down – not far from what we see in the world today. This will be running at Theatre503, 9th September – 3rd October.
What advice would you offer someone looking to get into the industry?
Take time to research what it is you want to do: there are all sorts of roles and school may not provide the insight you need to make an informed choice, it certainly didn’t with me!
If you are interested in working in theatre, like I do at the moment, I’d say go to theatres like the Young Vic, Royal Court, Lyric Hammersmith, Theatre 503, Leeds Playhouse etc. Find out what is being produced and explore their websites to find out what opportunities they offer to support the growth of artists and launch careers. If you want to be a director like me, the Young Vic is a great place as they have a directors network which provides a myriad of workshops to develop your craft, to discover more about the industry and how to develop a career in it.Book now
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