A self-described “European theatre maker infesting British theatre”, Nastazja Somers pauses the patriarchy-toppling for just long enough to answer Ten Questions for Ten Years
Where were you 10 years ago?
In an attic apartment in Kraków, Poland pretending that I was excited about beginning my studies in Russian Literature and that I was over theatre (I love Russian literature, just not studying it). I dropped out 2 months in.
Best show you’ve seen in the last 10 years?
What has been your professional highlight of the last 10 years?
I’ve had so many! To be honest when I look at the bigger picture and remind myself that I’ve arrived in this country 8 years ago knowing no-one and knowing nothing about the London scene, I realise that dreams do come true. Hard work and kindness is the recipe! This year has been incredible and everytime I think it can’t get any better it does! Earlier in the year I got to work with Middle Child, a company that I absolutely adore for their ethics and passion, I worked on 10 a feminist piece written by Lizzie Milton, again the people who worked on that show were just pure talent and love. And now I’m directing at The Globe which is feels surreal at times!
Top flavour of interval ice-cream?
What show do you wish theatres would give a rest for a few years?
Period dress takes on classics need to stop. I’m serious, if you have nothing new to say and you just gonna put hella lot of antiques on stage, don’t do it. Also stop being so literal with everything and stop telling me how to feel.
Name someone who you think is a really underappreciated talent (in the world of theatre)?
This question makes me think about what does “underappreciated” really mean? Does it mean that the people who should be getting into bigger spaces and bigger stages, aren’t? I think womxn are very underappreciated in this industry. I think our talents and abilities are not rewarded the way they should be. There are so many fantastic playwrights out there such as Chinonyerem Odimba, Abi Zakarian, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Chris Bush, Guleraana Mir, Maureen Lennon, Nyla Levy and of course Winsome Pinnock, and equally so many incredible directors Maddie Moore, Nicole Charles, Katharina Reinthaller. Oh I could keep going. But we are here, we are making waves and we are not going anywhere. Appreciated or not, we are staying.
Elphaba or Glinda?
I fell asleep during Wicked….
What is one thing that you think would help theatre survive and/or thrive the next ten years?
I hope our drive for getting rid of the gatekeepers and dismantling those power structures persists, because Dionysus knows we need it. The onus is on all of us to make that change happen and we really need to open our eyes to the fact that we are all in this together. I have so little time for the infighting and absolutely no time for womxn who see other womxn as competition; grow up or join the fight, otherwise bye.
Which is your favourite theatre?
The one I’m going to run.
Can you say anything about what’s to come for you, (in the next ten years or otherwise)?
I’m directing the world premiere of of the English translation (by Tony Howard and Barbara Bogoczek) of The Death of Ophelia by Stanisław Wyspiański as part of the Shakespeare and Poland Festival at The Globe and then I’m working on my dissertation during the summer. I hope in 10 years time I’ll still have as many ideas and dreams as I have now. I also hope by then we are done with pandering to white cis men and we can just make amazing art!