I’d Rather Go Blind at Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre reclaims the narrative for mothers in the justice system

By Anna Mackenzie
October 1 2019, 13.15

Inspired by real-life experiences of motherhood within the criminal justice system, a new production by Futures Theatre opens today at Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre.

The London-based charity will present I’d Rather Go Blind by Somalia Seaton from October 1 – 5.

The play explores themes of judgement and hope with the portrayal of a mother and daughter whose relationship is altered by external social circumstances.

Ms Seaton said: “It’s about the loopholes that women who have come into contact with the criminal justice system have to jump through in order to mother their own children, and it’s about reclaiming our own narratives.”

She added: “I’m really fascinated by the strength and power of our minds – the multitudes of worlds we can conjure up to survive trauma.

“I also remain overwhelmed with anger at the sheer volume of women who lose custody of their children through coming into contact with the criminal justice system.”

The play is the third commission from Futures creative engagement project An Alternative Life.

It is based on the lived experiences of women at The Beth Centre, a Lambeth support facility for women affected by the repercussions of custody.

Futures worked with the centre in 2017 and ran weekly creative workshops for women to share their experiences.

Director Caroline Bryant said she is excited for those involved to see the piece of theatre that has been inspired by their stories.

She said: “We want to create productions that have really gritty art, from the stories that we’re not so often hearing in the theatre that are the voices of women that don’t have the privilege or space for their voice in lots of parts of society.”

Founded by Ms Bryant in 1992, Futures Theatre champions female-led artistic teams to celebrate untold stories and amplify underrepresented voices.

Stemming from her own experience as an actor, Ms Bryant said she established the company to have more control over the work that she was seeing and being offered.

She said: “It gave me a platform from which I could, in some small way, influence creative work to be what I think is important, which is inclusive and broad and hearing lots of different peoples’ stories.”

The director said she hopes audiences of I’d Rather Go Blind will gain an understanding of the complexities faced by women within the justice system.

The play marks the fourth Futures Theatre production to be brought to Omnibus Theatre. Tickets cost £16 and £13 for concession and can be pre-booked here.

Related Articles