Q&A with Natasha Marshall
What are the themes in Half Breed?
Half Breed looks at identity and exploring this in a conflicting world. Racism and ignorance are also themes within the story, there’s a thin line that divides the two and the play constantly wavers between them. But the strongest theme within Half Breed is the idea of chasing after your dreams, having faith in yourself and standing up for what you believe in regardless of what people think.
Why did you write Half Breed and why now?
I feel like I have something I need to say that’s truthful and real. Often I feel through the media we are given one perspective on what it means to be black and I wanted to break away from those stereotypes, bringing to the forefront those often untold or forgotten stories. I wanted to speak up and give a voice to anyone that can identify with being different, encouraging them that they are not alone in this feeling, as a younger me would have really appreciated this.
There hasn’t been a play like Half Breed before, so now feels a better time than any to make this story heard. The themes within this play will always be relevant. I believe theatre’s about taking risks and constantly pushing things further. In today’s climate the Brexit vote has really exposed the fact that Britain is a country very much divided. The overall outcome fuelled my faith in Half Breed‘s purpose because it’s so current and needed for what is happening right now; let this story provoke a much needed discussion on what we often try to sweep under the carpet.
What playwrights are you influenced by and why?
Debbie Tucker Green really inspires me and was the person who influenced me to start writing Half Breed. Her style of writing is really unique, I really enjoy reading her plays because there is so much rhythm and poetry in her dialogue, I relate to this because I do spoken word. She made me realise that there is no ‘right’ way of telling a story, you can do your own thing and be strong in what you do, just as long as it contains heart and integrity, which is what I get when reading her plays.
What do you want to achieve as a playwright?
I want to move people; I want to expose people’s minds to a different perspective. I want to speak the truth on topics that I feel are important and relevant. I like the idea that my writing can create a positive change. I want to make people feel happy, moved and inspired.