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Nina Sosanya Joins New Audio Drama SEEDS

The drama will be presented weekly from 7th October 2020.

Nina Sosanya Joins New Audio Drama SEEDS

No Stone Theatre presents Seeds, the legacy of Nikolai Vavilov, founder of the world's first seed bank, told as an audio drama starring Nina Sosanya.

The drama will be presented weekly from 7th October 2020.

Nikolai Vavilov (1887 - 1943) was a Russian plant geneticist who founded the world's first seed bank; his life's goal was to end world famine, but he himself starved to death in a Soviet prison. Now his legacy is explored in a new podcast, starring Nina Sosanya (W1A, The Last Tango in Halifax, His Dark Materials). The audio drama follows four scientists in besieged 1940s Leningrad, dedicated to their work as the world around them crumbles, raising issues around food security, biodiversity and intensive farming. Meanwhile a patient wakes in hospital, unable to remember who she is and how she got there, she begins a journey through modern day St Petersburg, determined to uncover the truth.

When the research and development of their stage production Seeds of Hope was stalled by COVID-19, No Stone Theatre shifted their focus and decided to use the material they had to make an audio drama podcast series. Working with many of the same creatives and partners around the UK, the company plans to release each episode in partnership with a different UK regional partner, creating a digital 'tour' including Warwick University, Julie's Bicycle, Leicester Curve, Derby Theatre, Camden People's Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Arcola.

Vavilov created the first seed bank at his institute in Leningrad, Russia out of samples that he collected from across the world. During World War II he fell out of favour with Stalin and starved to death in a Soviet prison. Vavilov's story and the issues that his story raise remain underrepresented in the public domain but the issues of food security and biodiversity have never been more relevant - although obesity is a major problem in the developed world, malnutrition remains a threat for millions of others and climate change will make food security even more fragile, bought much closer to home by the empty supermarket shelves that we saw in March and April of this year. These issues link to discussions about intensive farming and climate change.

Nina Sosanya will be playing the role of Patient throughout the podcast series. Nina is best known for her TV roles in W1A and Last Tango in Halifax, though more recently she was also seen in Good Omens, Killing Eve, and His Dark Materials. Her theatre credits include roles at The National Theatre, RSC, Donmar Warehouse, Manchester Royal Exchange, West Yorkshire Playhouse and West End. She will be joined in the cast by Graeme Rose, Katy Stephens, Kirsty Rider and Jordon Kemp.

For No Stone theatre, Director Nicolas Pitt and Producer Johanna Taylor said "As a company, we are still committed to live theatre and are eager for its full re-emergence. Until then, we wanted to create a shared experience around themes that we all suddenly and unexpectedly have a greater collective appreciation of with a hope for the future at its heart."

Nina Sosanya said "I'm really pleased to be taking part in Seeds as it addresses some of the most pressing issues of our times -biodiversity and food security. As we saw recently at the start of the pandemic, we are not as far away from empty shelves as we might have thought. What's more, the story of Nikolai Vavilov is fascinating and I'm looking forward to sharing it with audiences who download the audio drama"

Director Nicholas Pitt is the Artistic Director and co-founder of No Stone Theatre. He was previously a creative associate of Idle Motion. Nicholas was resident director at the Birmingham REP from 2014 to 2015, and returned to work as associate director for the national tour of Of Mice and Men in 2016. In 2018 he directed Rhum and Clay's Stage award winning Mistero Buffo. Recent directing credits include Don't Look Away by NOAVE Theatre and he is also the Director of Strategy for The Public Campaign for The Arts.

Playwright Nick Walker is a Perrier nominated writer, producer, and director. He has written widely for radio, including 3 series of the cult sci-fi show The First King of Mars starring Peter Capaldi, and 5 series of the Nordic noir series Annika Stranded. He is the author of two critically acclaimed novels Blackbox and Helloland and is currently working on an original new drama series and a screenplay with Black Camel pictures. Nick also writes for stage, including commissions for China Plate Theatre and The Belgrade Theatre.

No Stone theatre was founded in 2018 by director Nicholas Pitt and producer Johanna Taylor to initiate dynamic interdisciplinary collaborations and create contemporary theatre about issues drawn from our current cultural moment.


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