The Seed started out years ago as a novel Kate Mulvany was writing about her family. But Kate’s laptop got stolen and she lost everything except a few scraps about crayfishing with her dad. In 2004, Kate gave us those few scraps and we gave her the Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award. By 2007 the scraps had become a small miracle of a show at Belvoir St Downstairs as part of our B Sharp Season. So this mighty little play grew up at Belvoir St and we were proud as punch that it took its place Upstairs in 2008.

Meet Rose Maloney. Her dad Danny went to Vietnam. Her grandfather Brian is ex-IRA. Today is their collective birthday. From this intimate reunion, The Seed opens itself up over and over again until a silent family battle becomes a national story about finding new life amongst the rubble of old wars. This play has a very special kind of honesty and humour to it which sorts the great lies we buy into from the reality we live through.

Iain Sinclair’s beautiful production boasted three wonderful actors at their finest: Danny Adcock, Kate Mulvany and the legendary Martin Vaughan (who leapt out of retirement to play the gorgeous old bully Brian). That well-known theatrical green thumb Neil Armfield joined the party to lend his hand for the Upstairs repotting.


Danny Adcock
Kate Mulvany
Martin Vaughan


By Kate Mulvany
Director Iain Sinclair
Set & Costume Designer Micka Agosta
Lighting Designer Matt Cox
Composer & Sound Designer Steve Toulmin


Kate Mulvany’s story, her play about her story and her performance in her play are extraordinarily powerful and moving. This is an important work that deserves a long life.

The Australian

At this stage in her career, Mulvany is often described as an emerging playwright. The Seed suggests she’s close to fully fledged.

The Sun-Herald

The Seed is probably the best new Australian theatre work of 2007…and this production is a rewarding one for all kinds of reasons that need to be experienced to be believed and understood.

Stage Noise