Buttercup – 20 Stories High

Watch now on iPlayer

The story of a young woman strong enough to finally make herself heard.

Buttercup – a new film by 20 Stories High is now available on BBC iPlayer.

The debut play written and performed by Liverpool-based Congolese singer, songwriter, and actor Dorcas Seb, Buttercup is produced by 20 Stories High and Tigerlily Productions from an original idea by Odile Mukete.

The story

Fortune 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.

Weaving together words, poems, and memories, she shares her story, from her life as 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 she has locked away, to recognise the power behind her mother’s warnings, and to accept the truth that she was never to blame for what happened to her.

About the film

Buttercup was commissioned for film by BBC Arts as part of its Lights Up festival, and is also supported 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). The work was shown on 14 April 2021 on BBC Four.

Self care toolkit

The piece deals with some difficult content on the theme of child sexual abuse, so the team at 20 Stories High have put together a self care toolkit – inspired by information from The Survivor’s Trust – featuring tips on how you can support yourself, including details of professional help available.

About this artist

20 Stories High make theatre that is… gritty, jumping, melodic, rebellious, contemporary, mashed-up, authentic, original, visual, challenging, lyrical, tender, anarchic, diverse, surprising, booming, political, funny, collaborative… and heart-felt.

They make theatre with working class and culturally diverse young people, emerging artists & world-class professionals. The company brings new audiences into theatre venues and also takes theatre out into their communities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.