Sophia is a character-driven piece, focused on Sophia - an Italian woman who has come to England with her two small children, following her husband Marco’s dream to open a Trattoria Tradizionale Italiano. But, on opening night, Marco is unexpectedly caught in a serious accident and Sophia is faced with a dilemma; to go straight to Marco’s bedside, or step in to his shoes, and make the opening night a success. This is the greatest way she could honour him – but does she have what it takes? Full of self-doubt, Sophia has a series of hurdles to overcome – both internally and externally. She struggles with the English language. She needs to find childcare for her baby and toddler. She has to appear confident and at ease when all she can think of is her husband. When the unthinkable happens, and she finds she has a restaurant full of people and no chef, she faces her ultimate challenge; where does she find the wisdom that can bring her through? Sophia celebrates strength and resilience won through adversity, giving us hope to face tomorrow.
Proverbs 31 is a heroic hymn, a form nearly always reserved for men returning victorious from battle. But Proverbs 31 is about a woman; a wife, mother and entrepreneur. She is described with military language, presenting her role straddling her domestic and professional duties as a battlefield! She is also the financial provider for her family; truly a woman of our times. One criticism of the ‘Valiant Woman’ has been that she presents an impossible and unattainable ideal for women. But I have taken the spirit of the piece – which is full of hope – and asked what battles had to be won to forge this woman’s character and build her resilience. And, in turn, where do we find strength from when we’re in a crisis? This is a film about identity; in a world where gender is such a hot-topic, what does it mean to be a valiant woman today? In a post Me-Too culture, with the gender pay-gap still hotly debated and the very real struggle women continue to experience juggling work and family life, this text offers a way forward, if we let it.
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