Q&A: Vitamin D

We spoke to Vitamin D’s writer Saher Shah and director Melina Namdar all about the upcoming production, with an all-female cast, that looks at the changing relationships between women, complexities of emotional crises, British South Asian culture, the stigma of divorce and everyyyyyone’s opinion on it all.

Read on to find out all about the show coming to The Edge on Friday 17th March 2023 at 7:30 pm

So, first things first, why have you named the production Vitamin D?

The topic of divorce is still very much a taboo in South Asian culture, and for women especially it’s framed as a failure on their part, something bad that we should avoid and definitely do not need more of.

Vitamins on the other hand are something that we all need, but don’t typically pay attention to. They nourish us and we don’t always know which ones we might be lacking in. Divorce for most people means that you’re now free from a marriage that wasn’t good for you, it wasn’t nourishing. So what if we saw divorce as something positive rather than a failure, what if it was seen like a vitamin we didn’t know was needed and now it’s happened, it’s nourishing. 

The journey we go on with our lead, Larki is an exploration of this. A lot of brown women will also know the plight of being told by their Dr that they are in fact, quite literally lacking in Vitamin D because of the melanin to sun ratio issue in the UK, so it’s a bit of a cultural cheeky play on that as well!

What was the significance of having an all-female cast to play out the various themes of the show?

Initially when I started writing, it wasn’t an intentional choice. But as I got further I realised the themes I wanted to explore were more centered around female relationships; mother and daughter, friends, colleagues. Fellow women as we know aren’t always the strongest allies when trying to fight the patriarchy, we can uphold and internalise toxic behaviours that not only help destroy other women, but also ourselves.

What inspired the main tropes of emotional crises, changing relationships and decision-making? 

Life! As you grow and move through the world you experience things that at the time feel like you’re going through entirely on your own and no one else is. But as I’ve met new people and had more open and honest conversations with those I’ve known for years, I relaised that all of these themes were totally universal. Some details in each example might be a bit different, the people involved might look or sound different, but the situations are very much the same.

How does Vitamin D tackle the stigma of divorce?

We don’t beat around the bush in this show, everything is spoken about loudly and proudly! We follow the world and inner thoughts of Larki going through the emotional fall out of her divorce in real time, with her. There’s lots of humour and fun vibes too so it’s a real exploration of the characters as a whole.

What piece of advice could you give to someone like Larki?

Live your life as you want to sis! You’re definitely not alone x

Book here

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