Mel Pennant on seeds: 'It explores the danger of creating "otherness": it's about them or me but never us'

Mel Pennant on seeds: 'It explores the danger of creating "otherness": it's about them or me but never us'

credit: Wasi Daniju

The playwright discusses her new show, which explores the realities of knife crime in the UK and challenges society's assumptions about violence and race

Focusing on two mothers, both of whom are trying to deal with the reality of knife crime, seeds is a new script that uses the immediacy of performance to address British society's assumptions about crime, violence and race.

'The use of the term "knife crime" can be reductive,' says playwright Mel Pennant. 'People may feel that it is or isn't their problem, that it's about one race or another, or a particular demographic or type of young person. The play seeks to challenge that sort of shorthand. It explores the danger of creating "otherness": it's about them or me but never us.'

Amid a Traverse programme that ranges across a variety of new writing and challenging issues, seeds is explicit in both its intentions and belief that theatre offers a unique opportunity. 'Theatre provides a powerful, magical place where an audience, these two mothers and their story all come together in a moment in time,' Pennant continues. 'By their interaction, they evolve with this conversation about who we are. It's this one opportunity to really dig deep and explore their despair and longing, and how they define their future in a space that has become very limiting for both of them.'

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 20 & Sat 21 Mar

seeds

seeds By Mel Pennant tiata fahodzi and Wrested Veil in association with Leeds Playhouse, Soho Theatre and Tara Finney Productions present seeds directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour. "What would you do to save your son? Everything? Anything? Lie?” On Michael Thomas’ birthday, his cake sits in his mother’s living room…

Seeds

Shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award, seeds tells the story of two mothers united in sorrow, sharing the hardship of protecting their sons.

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