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A Young Vic Film

In Stef Smith’s monologue, performed by Kate Dickie, gardening is a metaphor for how we build communities, as well as how we build a national identity.

How to Grow A Nation (Halifax)

Cast & Creatives

Written by Stef Smith 

Featuring Kate Dickie

Director Rodney Charles

Producers Rodney Charles & Nadia Latif

Line Producer Nick Thompson

Executive Producers Kwame Kwei-Armah & Despina Tsatsas

Director of Photography & Editor Michael Edo Keane

Casting Director Charlotte Sutton CDG

Camera Assistant  Patrick Brooks

Sound Recordist Tom Anderson 

Hair and Make up Ian Grummitt

Jerwood Assistant Director Floriana Dezou

Assistant Editor Yasmin C. Rams

Composer Leon Jean-Marie

Runner Stefan Kliszynski

Halifax Collaborator Alasdair Pidsley

Stef Smith is an multi award-winning writer working for both stage and screen to international acclaim. Work includes: GIRL IN THE MACHINE and SWALLOW (Traverse Theatre); HUMAN ANIMALS (Royal Court); REMOTE (National Theatre Connections Festival); TEA AND SYMMETRY (BBC Radio); SMOKE (AND MIRRORS) (Traverse Theatre & DOT Istanbul for Theatre Uncut); BACK TO BACK TO BACK (Cardboard Citizens); CURED (Glasgay! Festival); GREY MATTER (The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen); WOMAN OF THE YEAR (Oran Mor, Glasgow) and FALLING/FLYING (Tron, Glasgow). Stef's critically acclaimed show, ROADKILL, won numerous awards, including an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. Stef’s Traverse Theatre Commission SWALLOW opened to widespread critical acclaim, and won a Scotsman’s Fringe First Award and the Scottish Arts Club Theatre Award, as part of the Edinburgh Festival. Recently Stef took part in the BBC Drama Writers Room and her current commissions include the Traverse Theatre, the Citizens Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, the National Theatre of Scotland and the National Theatre. She is also an Associate Artist at the Traverse Theatre and Leeds Playhouse.

Kate Dickie Multi award winning, Kate Dickie has received two BAFTA Scotland Best Actress Awards (Red Road 2006 & Couple in A Hole 2016) as well as BIFA Best Actress for Red Road and a BIFA Best Actress nomination for Couple in a Hole. In international recognition she received the UK Shooting Star at the Berlin Film Festival and Best Actress award Festival Nouveau Cinema Montréal as well a nomination for 2016 Spirit USA. In 2013 Kate received the Spirit of Scotland Screen Award for her Career achievement.

Feature Film credits include other leading roles in Tell It To The Bees, Boyz in The Woods and The Witch with acclaimed supporting roles in The Silent Storm, For those in Peril, Filth and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Kate has featured in many other full length movies such as Shell, Now is Good, Outcast, Donkeys, Sommers Town and Summer. Her numerous short film appearances include Operator which won BAFTA Best British Short Film Award 2016.

Her distinguished television work includes Lysa Arryn in Game of Thrones, The Alienist , The Pillars of The Earth and the award winning BBC drama Five Daughters. Kate has also played leading and featured roles in amongst many others, Vera, One of Us, The Frankenstein Chronicles, Midwinter of The Spirit, By Any Means, The Escape Artist, Injustice, Dive, New Tricks, Garrows Law, He Kills Coppers, and The Vice. Kate was nominated for a Best Actress award BAFTA (Scotland) for the BBC drama Tinsel Town in 2000. Highlights in her stage career include Bad Roads at the Royal Court, directed by Vicky Featherstone, the London production of David Cromer's award winning Our Town at the Almedia Theatre, Aalst (at the Soho, London, touring Australia and UK with National Theatre of Scotland) for which she was nominated for the Best Actress award by UK Theatre Managers’ Association, Any Given Day, nominated Best Actress Critics Theatre Scotland and Electra for which she was nominated Best Actress in The Stage awards.

Rodney Charles’ first screenplay won the Greater London Arts Advanced Film and Video Award. The resulting film Once Upon a Time was broadcast by BBC television and screened at the Venice Film Festival and FESPACO winning achievement awards. His screenplay Reclaimed won the BHERC screenwriting award.

In 2008 Rodney debut feature as Writer, Director and Producer, The Disciple opened at the BFM Film Festival to a sell-out UK premier at the BFI South Bank. The Disciple also won Best New Director honor at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. Later, Rodney directed the short film African Cowboy which was nominated for five Namibian Academy Awards. In 2016 he premiered the documentary feature In Exile at TIFF. 

Rodney is also an alumni of several international writer/director labs, including the BingerLab (Amsterdam) and B3 Media Lab w/ Film 4 (London). As a film actor Rodney has collaborated with notable directors such as Wim Wenders, Mike Figgis and Antoine Fuqua. His numerous film and television appearances have been balanced with a career as a writer and international model resulting in Rodney’s exposure to diverse global cultures and an acute understanding of how film, imagery and advertising impact on self-awareness and identity globally. This has heavily influenced his unique and original collection of trans-cultural, internationally relevant feature screenplays. Rodney is also the Vice President of the African Artists’ Association, a Hollywood based non-profit organization with members internationally and has spoken on film industry panels at the Berlinale/EFM, IFFR, Diversity in Cannes, PAFF and TIFF.

Special Thanks

The Young Vic wishes to thank: Ben Cooper, Barrie Wightman and the residents of Skircoat Green Allotments.

Supported by: