This May 12th was International Nurses day and May 14th marks the anniversary of the death of Mary Seacole, the famous Jamaican Scottish nurse who died in Paddington in 1881. During 2019, UK based production company, Racing Green Pictures began filming a movie of her life, entitled ‘Seacole’ due for release in 2021 but pandemic halted production. This film will help include and strengthen Mary Seacole’s story in curriculums in addition to shining a light on the importance of nurses and healthcare workers around the world. Mary’s life story is not only unfathomable for the time she was living in, it is an instantaneous, universally relevant and an historically accurate portrait of a healthcare heroine who put her life on the line to save others during disaster.
‘Seacole’ is an historical drama about the legendary Mary Seacole played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who defied discrimination to nurse British soldiers during the Crimean War and found herself at odds with Florence Nightingale, (Sylvia Hoeks). The film focuses her on the period of her life following the death of her husband in Jamaica, a merchant named Edwin Seacole and when she made the decision to dedicate her life to care for the sick and wounded. In 1854, a year after the war began, Seacole travelled to London, England where she applied to be a nurse to the Crimean Fund, the British Army and Florence Nightingale’s nursing team but she was rejected and rebuffed by all so using her own funds decided to undertake her mission directly to the battlefield in Crimea. At that time her Caribbean wayward friend Thomas Day (played by Sam Worthington) arrived in London and they formed a partnership preparing for the journey and finally setting off in by ship in 1885 to the Crimea. When they arrived, they set about building The British Hotel situated along the main supply road to the British camp in Balaclava. Mary became a central heroine caring and nursing for wounded and dying soldiers on the front of the Crimean War; she was a symbol of hope to wounded British soldiers who gave her the name, Mother Seacole.
Billy Peterson, owner of Racing Green Pictures says, “I was sent the script over 5 years ago and immediately acquired the right to finance and produce independently through my UK studio Racing Green Pictures. Mary Seacole is the perfect example of the stories we aim to produce for the big and small screen. This true, socially impactful, humanitarian film about a strong woman of colour persevering against all odds is exactly what today’s theatre going audiences are thirsting for. Mary’s life story is not only unfathomable for the time she was living in, it is an instantaneous, universally relevant and historically accurate portrait of a healthcare heroine who put her life on the line to save others during disaster. This film has been as complicated and daring as Mary herself. Filming in three separate countries with multiple languages, currencies and personnel it has been an EPIC.” For more updates check
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