Q+A with Sepy Baghaei

Q+A with Sepy Baghaei

Find out more about our upcoming comedy Habibti Driver from the director Sepy Baghaei.

Habibti Driver is a brand-new, hilarious comedy that makes its world premiere on our stage this month.

Check out our interview with the director, Sepy Baghaei who tells us what inspired her to become a theatre director and what you can expect from this brand-new production.

Sepy Baghaei

What is your first memory of visiting the theatre?

In primary school I went on a school trip to see We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. I distinctly remember thinking how cool it must be to be an actor as a profession.

What inspired you to be a theatre director?

I actually started out wanting to be an actor. I went to drama school and trained as an actor, but about halfway through my course realised I wanted to be on the other side of the rehearsal room.

To this day I’m most inspired by the directors who worked with me when I was training as an actor — they were hugely generous and committed to getting the best out of me, so it’s made me want to do the same. I think the people you work with when you train, if you have the opportunity to do so, are really important in instilling good values and working practices.

What most excited you about directing Habibti Driver?

The fact that it spotlights a character who is caught between her Egyptian and British cultures is something I can relate to. I’ve got Iranian parents but I was brought up in Australia, so as a child I often found myself pulled between my parents wanting to stick to their traditions, while I wanted to fit in more with my Aussie friends. I have many mixed-culture friends in the UK, particularly mixed Middle Eastern/North African and British, and I know they’ve not had much opportunity to see themselves onstage. So I’m excited to direct a play that explores that with buckets of humour and heart.

What are the themes explored in the play?

The play explores mixed-culture families in modern Britain; culture clash; the compromises that come with marriage and having a family; and how connecting with your ‘roots’ is a completely unique experience for each person.

What can audiences expect from this production?

You can expect to laugh — a lot! And to walk away with a reminder of how important family is, no matter what shape or form it comes in. 

Why should audiences come and watch Habibti Driver?

You should come see Habibti Driver because it’s a refreshingly honest and humorous look at what it means to grow up in a mixed-culture family in modern England. It’ll be a warm and funny night at the theatre, and I’ve no doubt that everyone — regardless of their cultural background — will be able to see elements of their own families reflected onstage.

Habibti Driver opens from Thu 21 April - Sat 7 May!