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THE POPELEI SEED COMMISSION – what’s it all about?

2018 has been dubbed ‘The Year of the Woman’ and Popelei believe it is the start of a new wave of social consciousness that will at last listen to the stories of women, take them seriously and understand that they are as vital to history and to the future as the stories of men.

For the past few months we’ve been shouting about THE POPELEI SEED COMMISSION which is our way of making HERstory. It’s an opportunity for artists making performance-based work with narratives focused around women to get their idea heard. The commission offers the artists chosen some financial backing, mentoring and dramaturgical help and advice.

Throughout the month of September we received over 100 applications from artists who sent in their wonderful ideas – it was a tough decision and we were so grateful to all those that shared them with us. Here are the 5 commissions we have chosen:

Parisa: Citizen of the Islamic Republic of Iran

By Peyvand Sadeghian

My name is Peyvand Sadeghian. I am a British citizen. I also have an Iranian passport. But Peyvand is not on the list of approved names in Iran (don't ask). This passport has my photo but the name says Parisa. Who is she? Not me.

Actor and puppeteer, this will be Peyvand's debut as instigator and theatre-maker in her own right.

The Tropic of Capricorn / Heretics (working title)

By Conway McDermott

“1800s, the Napoleonic Wars are raging, and English counties use prisoners to meet the quota of men. Adopting the identity of a male prisoner, Alma Carpenter joins the Navy to escape her own sentence.”

Inspired by the cross-dressing sailors in Nelson’s Navy, Conway McDermott subverts the colonial lens of power which has distorted history for too long.

Us Six

By Mariana Aristizabal & Malena Arcucci

A physical and visual exploration: The voices of six female poets lead a woman's journey through Latin America, as she revisits her past lives and the ones she is yet to live. 

Devised and created by Colombian director-performer, Mariana Aristizabal Pardo and designer-director Malena Arcucci from Argentina.

Invisible Silver

By Paula David

The third play in a female sexuality trilogy that explores female sexual liberation, the myth of invisibility and the double life of a woman in her sixties.

Paula David is a writer, poet and singer/songwriter based in East London.

The Maroon Queen

By Ariane Barnes

A gutsy, colourful story of passion, defiance and survival, this play is a tongue-in cheek re-imagination of the legend of The Mauritian Maroon Queen.

Colleague and friend of Popelei, Ariane Barnes’ solo show was the inspiration behind starting The Popelei Seed Commission.


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