Zainab Jah Joins Gugu Mbatha-Raw In Mary Seacole Biopic

Seacole is the Charlie Stratton-directed indie film based on the true-life story of Mary Seacole.

Seacole follows Mbatha-Raw as Mary Seacole, a pioneering Jamaican nurse who became known during the Crimean War for her care of wounded British soldiers. Seacole’s self-sacrifice on the front lines and fierce, adversarial relationship with Florence Nightingale during the war made her famous in her time. Zainab Jah will play the role of Mary’s mother Alice Grant.

Billy Peterson, owner of Racing Green Pictures says, “I was sent the script over 5 years ago and immediately acquired the right to finance and produce independently through my UK studio Racing Green Pictures. Mary Seacole is the perfect example of the stories we aim to produce for the big and small screen. This true, socially impactful, humanitarian film about a strong woman of colour persevering against all odds is exactly what today’s theatre-going audiences are thirsting for. Mary’s life story is not only unfathomable for the time she was living in, it is an instantaneous, universally relevant and historically accurate portrait of a healthcare heroine who put her life on the line to save others during a disaster. This film has been as complicated and daring as Mary herself. Filming in three separate countries with multiple languages, currencies and personnel it has been an EPIC.”

Dianne Houston and Marnie Dickens co-wrote the script with Stratton. Producers are Brunson Green of Harbinger Pictures, Hilary Shor, Peter Bevan and Karl Richards. UK based production company, Racing Green Pictures filmed and edited the movie that is yet to set a release date.

It has long been argued that the main reason Seacole’s story was overlooked in history was because of her race. Historians believe her landmark achievements remained hidden for so long due to racial attitudes in the 19th century. Novelist, Salman Rushdie referred to Seacole as an example of ‘hidden’ black history. After decades of having her achievements and contributions to society overshadowed by those of her contemporary, Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole received posthumous recognition in the form of the Jamaican Order of Merit in 1991 and was also depicted on a British first-class stamp. In 2004, she was voted Greatest Black Briton. In 2016, a statue in her honour was erected at St Thomas Hospital in Westminster, London.

Zainab Jah is a British award-winning theatre, television and film actress. Her latest role is in the upcoming film False Positive. Jah is represented by Madeleine Dewhirst and Sian Smyth at Hamilton Hodell.

Mbatha-Raw is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content and Curtis Brown. Oyelowo is repped by CAA, Hamilton Hodell, and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano. She will next be seen in Disney+’s Marvel series Loki alongside Wunmi Mosaku.


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