Received from Boney Pyke, whose daughter Charlotte plays one of the lead roles.
now playing at the Finborough Theatre www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
Until Saturday, November 20th 2004
REVIEWS . . .
Ghosts, identity, love and shame are woven together in this haunting and innovative piece of new writing.
The acting in the production is absolutely superb; the intense claustrophobia of the family home is tangible and the exchanges between the grandfather (William Maxwell) and Andrea (Charlotte Pyke) are so uneasy I was squirming in my chair with discomfort. The production uses dance and physical theatre in a way akin to the marvellous Shared Experience company and it is thrilling. The first act can be a bit slow at times due to the relentlessly sombre mood. However, the second act takes this play to another level; it is incredibly intense, electric and poignant. Michelle Jordan, Theatreworld Internet Magazine
Charlotte Pyke puts in very able and distinct performances as both Andrea and Francis, granddaughter and ghost, and demonstrates the originality of the script and direction. She is able to produce, for both characters, a defining scene of accumulating force that has her pirouette her way to drunken expressionism as Andrea and lapse into caustic verse as the vitriolic ghost Frances. An excellent performance. . . the racist English mind of Edmund is explored with a disturbing intensity Benjamin Eyre, BBC Oxford
This is a very good play. I enjoyed it immensely. The cast of whom there are two give fine performances in their roles. The set design is minimalist but effective. The script is strong, the direction smooth. . . It is the imperceptibly smooth nature of these transitions, the shift from soft-spoken girl to passionate spectre, from distant patriarch to weary disputant, that makes this play work so well. It flows naturally and easily. . . With a simple change in lighting and a subtle shift in tone and motion (both actors move wonderfully, Pyke in particular has a tremendous grace about her), the scene shifts two centuries into the past. Daniel Hemmens, Oxford Daily Info
The British Raj is a subject for ongoing fascination for many white and Asian Britons. For her debut play, actor writer Souad Faress has nabbed a small corner of its history to shed light on attitudes to do with race and identity. Helen Chappell, Whats On in London
This is a neat, atmospheric little ghost story dealing with the aftermath of British rule in India Robert Shore, Time Out
Charlotte Pyke . . .eloquent and expressive . . . Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard
Inspired by the legacy of the Raj and a memorial plaque to a young woman in Tunbridge Wells, Seed focuses on one 19th century family struggling to cope with their Indian connections. Of course, in Victorian England, one copes by covering up and saying as little as possible, and so this is a story of exotic dysfunction, misunderstanding and deception. . .
The staging imparts a wonderful sense of despair, enhanced by the prolonged scene setting where Andrea fusses round with cups of coffee, glasses of wine, and bowls of soup, serving them out, putting them away again, going into the kitchen, calling for Grandfather: just when I was about to scream myself I suddenly saw the point of it, when Andrea sat and just hung her head, in absolute misery. That was a great moment.
These are superb emotionally nuanced performances by these fine actors Pyke and Maxwell, in this accomplished debut full length play by Souad Faress.
Julia Hickman, Theatreworld Internet Magazine
The performances from William Maxwell and Charlotte Pyke are excellent. Mike Parker, The Morning Star
Inspired by a memorial plaque in Holy Trinity Church, Tunbridge Wells, it deals with a large subject. What was the fate of those devoted Britons who left India when independence was achieved? To which one might add, were they really has devoted as we thought? And what was their impact on the people of this vast sub-continent? . . . This is a tale worth the telling, a granddaughter endeavouring to winkle out the facts of Anglo Indian life, which includes miscegenation, from a grandfather whose memories of his family in India are a mixture of sadness, bitterness and shame. . .the subject itself is fascinating and the play itself well worth expanding. Peter Hepple, The Stage
by Souad Faress. Directed by Nicolette Kay. Designed by Jane Linz Roberts.
Cast includes: William Maxwell. Charlotte Pyke.
THE LONDON PREMIERE OF A HAUNTING FIRST PLAY BY SOUAD FARESS, PRODUCED AS PART OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH.
A young woman sets sail for India and never returns. What legacy did she leave behind? Set in a villa in contemporary Tunbridge Wells, Andrea is a young woman locked in habitual miscommunication and tension with her Grandfather, Edmond, who is hurled into unknown territory when her grandmother dies. A haunting tale of intrig
ue, ghosts, family, and how secrets when revealed can either bring together unanswered questions or blow apart decades of deceit. Delving deeply into the British psyche and her imperial past, Seed unearths the confusion, torment and inherited damage when a family tries to hide their ancestors.
Seed has been specially commissioned by Muzikansky, inspired by a plaque dedicated to a young woman who died whilst returning from India in 1835 on the wall of Holy Trinity Church, Tunbridge Wells, and based on the authors research into the history of the East India Company. Seed was inspired by the notion of young women in 1835 risking all and setting off from Deal on the high seas to far away continents, as witnessed by this beautiful plaque.
Playwright Souad Faress is an actress and writer. This is her first fulllength play. As an actress, she has recently been seen in The Permanent Way (Out of Joint and the National Theatre), Homebody/Kabul (Young Vic) and Celestina (Birmingham Rep). She is popularly known for her role as Usha in The Archers.
Directed by Nicolette Kay, Artistic Director of Muzikansky, whose previous credits include Mary Stuart (Time Out Critics Choice) Excellent performances and some stunning moments of violence. . . The Independent; Fascinating Time Out; Nicolette Kay directs the often exhilarating proceeding . . .a production of character. The Guardian; The Dreams of Clytemnestra A powerful and timeless story told with imagination and humour . . .Nicolette Kays imaginative direction Whats On and Mela by Dacia Maraini (BAC), The B3 Team (Lyric Studio, Hammersmith) and Mud (Arcola Theatre). She also co translated Mary Stuart which was subsequently published and has been continuously performed in the English speaking world, currently in Toronto.
Seed premiered in Tunbridge Wells and played in Margate and Oxford before its London run at the Finborough Theatre.
Tuesday, October 26th 2004 to Saturday, November 20th 2004
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.30pm.
Tickets 10 Pounds, 8 Pounds concessions. Tuesday Evenings 8 Pounds all seats. Saturday evenings 10 Pounds all seats. Previews (October 26th and 27th) 8 pounds all seats. Performance Length: Approximately 2 hours.
Box Office Information Line 020 7373 3842
Book Online HERE (Reduced booking fee applies)
24 Hour Credit Card Bookings Line 08700 100 600 (Booking fee applies)