Somalia Seaton's play Red is drama exploring the internal lives of young women, and what happens when their world is shattered by grief.
The play was commissioned as part of the Platform initiative from Tonic Theatre in partnership with Nick Hern Books, aimed at addressing gender imbalance in theatre by offering a series of big-cast plays with predominantly or all-female casts, written specifically for performance by young actors.
The play's action takes place on a 'sparse and mystical' set. When schoolgirl Jay goes missing, her best friend Dee retreats into Dusk, a magical twilight world, conjuring up fragmented memories of her missing friend. Soon Dee finds herself caught between the enchanting world she’s created to hold onto the memory of her friend, and the mundane reality of suburbia, where life must simply go on.
In an Introduction to the published playtext, Somalia Seaton writes: 'With Red, I wanted to interrogate the reasons behind the catastrophic number of young people that are reported missing in the UK. Seventy young people are reported missing in London alone, every single day. I had thought that I would write a play about this... But what I was really writing was a play about grief. A play that looks at the debris left behind when someone leaves. A play that looks at how a young girl learns to cope with no longer having her closest friend by her side.'