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Theatre for Everybody – Gaza

Theatre for Everybody - War & Peace

Theatre for Everybody – War & Peace

Working with the London-based AZ Theatre, in 2015, IPAT helped a theatre group based in Gaza to put on a production of Tolstoy’s War & Peace. The production, a video of which was shown to supporters in the UK, highlighted the struggles and plights of those stuck within a conflict situation–over which they have no control.

Theatre for Everybody’s director Hossam Madhoun told IPAT what the performance and the live link up with supporters in London meant to the group.

  • The value of performing the workshop version again.

The resonance of the presentation of War and Peace that took place on May 9th was very positive and appreciated by many people, around 130 people watch the presentation, since then we received many demands from many people who could not attend the presentation to do it again. We believe, art is made in order to share it with people, so decided to present it again; people interaction with the play, the debate happened after the show.

It was a kind of a surprise for the people in Gaza that someone is presenting Tolstoy (War and Peace) especially after the war of 2014. Someone said, “we are fed-up of wars and you said that in our name”

  • What impact did it have on the actors?

Working on the play for three months and then perform it once only, that was a big disappointment for the actors, and it was a great relief for them to perform it again, the presentation of a play is a kind of a reward to the actors. Also it was another chance to work again on some details on the show which make it better

It was a rewarding for the actors to meet new audience and interact with them after the presentation.

  • What impact did it have on the audience?

For many people, the show took them in a surprise, and many had the question: why Tolstoy? Why War and {eace, then many others provide the answer, it condemn the war, it denounce the violence it is calling for peace, it is talking on our behalf.

Also it took us out of daily life details; it took us to a deferent world, world of history, art, and joy. Listening to classic Arabic also was something new, we did not see a play in classic Arabic since long time and that was nice.

People also loved the fact that the play is criticizing dictatorship, which in our case our authorities are not deferent than any other dictatorship regime in any place

  • What impact did the skype conversation with London have?

AZ RichMixIt has been expressed clearly by someone: we always believed that we are left alone, especially during war times. Now with this link, I realize that many people out of Palestine are thinking about us, feeling on us, supporting us, we are not left alone.

People in Gaza were very curies to see people from the other side of the world and to listen to them and also were very eager to tell them their stories, especially on the time of the war.

Thank you, IPAT, for enabling us to do it.