“Fortune is live-streaming her truth. Weaving words of survival and solidarity: from a little girl in a bedroom in Kinshasa to a bold young poet in Liverpool. This is her story.”
Based on an original idea by Associate Producer Odile Mukete, written and performed by multi-disciplinary artist Dorcas Seb, and directed by Julia Samuels, Buttercup is the story of a young woman strong enough to finally make herself heard. A story of solidarity and survival. She is live streaming an informal spoken word gig to her online followers. As she takes the mic, she desperately hopes that her audience will include the one person who needs to hear her truth: her mother.
Buttercup is the story of a young woman strong enough to finally make herself heard. She is live-streaming an informal spoken word gig to her online followers. As she takes the mic, she desperately hopes that her audience will include the one person who needs to hear her truth; her mum.
Weaving words, poems, and memories, she shares her story. From a vulnerable little girl in a bedroom in Kinshasa, to a bold young woman partying and performing in Liverpool. Only now is she ready to revisit a past that she has locked away, to recognise the power behind her mother’s warnings, and to accept the truth that she was never to blame.
Her spoken word set ricochets back and forth across two decades and two continents. Back to her childhood home in the Congo, filled by a constant stream of aunties and uncles – family without blood ties. Fast-forward to a life in the UK, where Fortune embraces British Christmases but remains tied to the traditions of the country of her birth. She warns her sister Hope, too young to remember where they came from, that their childhood was not all ‘lollipops and sunshine for everyone’ and we know that Fortune sacrificed herself, staying silent so that her sister would not be next.
About the film
Buttercup is the debut play written and performed by Liverpool-based Congolese singer, songwriter, and actor Dorcas Seb, produced by 20 Stories High and Tigerlily Productions from an original idea by Odile Mukete. Buttercup is the company’s second BBC commission, following I Told My Mum I Was Going on an R.E. Trip, originally presented by BBC’s Performance Live in 2018 and re-released on iPlayer as part of the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine series.
Buttercup was commissioned for film by BBC Arts as part of its Lights Up festival, and also support by The Space. It was directed by Julia Samuels (co-Artistic Director of 20 Stories High), and produced by Jenny Monks (Tigerlily Productions) and Leanne Jones (20 Stories High).