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The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour

by The Freedom Theatre
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege - The Freedom Theatre UK Tour
The Siege
The Siege

"Whoever believes that theatre is a dead art form needs to see The Siege.” Joe Gill, Middle East Eye

The Siege UK tour is over, and what a journey it has been! The play received exceptional reviews during the tour, which included ten venues across Britain and twenty performances of which the large majority were sold-out.

“One would struggle to find a more authentic piece of theatre, or indeed one that speaks to such a brutally urgent case of injustice” stated The Public Reviews, while The Guardian wrote: “It develops into an unexpectedly compelling theatrical experience with a rough and ready energy, and, in the very act of its telling, speaks for the voiceless and forgotten.” Read more praise for The Siege here.

The Siege tour may be over but our presence in Britain is not. The Freedom Theatre UK Friends, a network of over 300 people in Britain, will continue to be involved in the theatre’s activities and we hope that you will too. Than you once again for your generous support!

Follow our work:

www.facebook.com/thefreedomtheatre
www.thefreedomtheatre.org
www.twitter.com/Freedom_Theatre 
www.youtube.com/thefreedomtheatre

The Siege Q&A
The Siege Q&A
The Siege
The Siege
500 people in the audience!
500 people in the audience!
We did it!
We did it!

Links:

The Siege performed in Palestine
The Siege performed in Palestine

"It is very exciting to welcome The Freedom Theatre’s tour of their new play ‘The Siege’ to Britain. This is real political theatre, performed out of the both terrible and inspiring experience of a struggle for freedom and justice. They are living proof that telling stories and entertaining audiences are powerful acts of resistance to oppression. Do go and see them, they have news for us. This little theatre could change the world.” Howard Brenton, playwright

Receiving outstanding reviews, The Siege has just ended a series of sold-out performances across the West Bank. Large audiences from Jenin to Bethlehem were captured throughout the play; laughing, crying and cheering as the story of the siege of Bethlehem in 2002 unfolded.

The Siege opened to a full house at The Freedom Theatre on April 4, the fourth anniversary of the unsolved murder of the theatre's general director and co-founder, Juliano Mer Khamis in 2011. April 4 is also the anniversary of the large-scale invasion of Jenin Refugee Camp by the occupation forces in 2002, which played out in parallel to the siege of Bethlehem. The last performance of The Siege took place in Bethlehem, a very symbolic event attended by over 350 people, some of whom had personal experiences of those fateful 39 days when the entire centre of Bethlehem was under curfew. 

The Siege brings together Palestinian actors from the West Bank, Palestine '48/Israel and Jerusalem, as well as a creative team with Palestinian and international members, including The Freedom Theatre co-founder, composer and activist Dror Feiler and composer Nicola Kodjabashia. (Find full list of creative team, cast and production team here).

The Siege will soon embark on The Freedom Theatre's first UK tour, with a string of performances across Britain. We hope you will join us! Dates & details: www.thefreedomtheatre.org/the-siege.


"This is a rare opportunity to see this famous company. This should be not only exciting theatre but give us an insight into the horrific oppression suffered by Palestinians in the territories occupied by Israel. I’m sure the performance will be a hit!” Ken Loach, film director

The Siege performed in Palestine
The Siege performed in Palestine
The Siege performed in Palestine
The Siege performed in Palestine
The Siege performed in Palestine
The Siege performed in Palestine

Links:

A quote from the play
A quote from the play

“It is very exciting to welcome the Freedom Theatre’s tour of their new play ‘The Siege’ to Britain. This is real political theatre, performed out of the both terrible and inspiring experience of a struggle for freedom and justice. They are living proof that telling stories and entertaining audiences are powerful acts of resistance to oppression. Do go and see them, they have news for us. This little theatre could change the world.” Howard Brenton, playwright

 

Dear friend,

February is upon us and here at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, we are busy rehearsing our brand new production, The Siege, which will go on a West Bank tour in April before it continues to the UK in May-June for the theatre's first-ever British tour. The Siege will be the biggest touring production ever performed in Britain by a Palestinian theatre company. For us it is a dream come true - and your support made it happen! 

The Siege is inspired by the true stories of a group of fighters who during the height of the second Intifada took refuge in the Church of the Nativity, while the Israeli army closed in, paralyzing the center of Bethlehem and keeping tens of thousands under curfew. Along with the fighters were some 200 priests, nuns and civilians. The siege lasted for 39 days. 

The directors traced the fighters who are now exiled across Europe and collected their untold accounts of an event that with time has taken on almost mythical proportions.

Opening
April 4, 15:00 at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp
This day is also the memorial of the unsolved 2011 murder of Juliano Mer Khamis, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre. On this day we remember and honour Juliano’s life, work and legacy, while we repeat our demand that those responsible for this crime be brought to justice.
The opening of The Siege and the memorial will be live streamed to enable those outside of Jenin to join us.

Other West Bank performances
The Freedom Theatre: April 5-12 (details to follow).
West Bank tour: April 13-18
Performances in Ramallah/Birzeit, Bethlehem and Hebron (details to follow).

UK tour: May 13-June 20
Performances confirmed thus far:

THE LOWRY (Manchester) 13th-14th May
LAKESIDE THEATRE (Colchester) 16th May
BAC (London) 19th-23rd May
THE HUB (Leeds) 26th May
ST MARY IN THE CASTLE (Hastings) 28th May
THE MERLIN (Frome) 30th May
BIRMINGHAM REP (Birmingham) 4th-6th June
NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE (Nottingham) 10th-11th June
THE TRON (Glasgow) 17th-20th June
 
The tour will be organized by The Friends Of The Freedom Theatre UK, a network of over 300 people in Britain who are engaged in the theatre’s activities. They are always looking for more people to join them, so do get in touch if you are interested in becoming involved somehow. Read more here.

Once again thank you so much for your generous support! We hope to get the chance to meet you in person when we come to the UK. In the meantime, stay updated about The Siege here.

The Siege creative team reading through the script
The Siege creative team reading through the script
One of the exiled fighters from the siege
One of the exiled fighters from the siege

Links:

Jen Refugee Camp, view from The Freedom Theatre
Jen Refugee Camp, view from The Freedom Theatre

First of all, we would like to sincerely thank you for your generous donation through GlobalGiving to The Freedom Theatre's latest project, The Siege.

The Siege is our most ambitious production to date, which will not only tour the West Bank but be the first-ever time we perform in Britain. Your donation is an important part of making that happen!

Working with established journalist Ismael Jaberine we have now completed our research for the production, which has taken us to seven countries across Europe, meeting exiled Palestinians as well as many individuals in the West Bank and skype interviews to Gaza. The untold accounts from these people are truly astonishing and we are inspired and excited to move on to the next step of development and rehearsal!

Plans for the UK tour are going very well and we will perform in leading UK theatres including Nottingham Playhouse, The Tron, BAC, The Lowry and the Birmingham Rep as well as more local venues and Universities.

The tour will be organized by The Friends Of The Freedom Theatre UK, a network of over 300 people in Britain who are engaged in the theatre’s activities. 

We look forward to sending you the next update as well as a full schedule and dates for the UK Tour soon!

Thank you very much for your support.

 

Best Wishes,

The Team at The Freedom Theatre

 

Read more about The Siege

 

THE FREEDOM THEATRE

The Freedom Theatre is a community-based theatre and cultural centre in Jenin Refugee Camp, occupied Palestine. Convinced that the arts have a crucial role to play in building a free and healthy society, The Freedom Theatre offers a unique programme of activities in performing arts and multimedia, including acting, psychodrama, playback theatre, filmmaking, photography and creative writing. The theatre runs a three-year professional Theatre School, produces its own theatre plays, photography exhibitions, books and films.

Jenin Refugee Camp is among the most severely affected areas by decades of Israeli occupation and internal conflicts. Jenin camp is largely isolated – culturally, economically and politically. This sense of isolation runs deep within the camp and particularly affects the young generation. The Freedom Theatre plays an important role in strengthening resilience and contravening feelings of apathy and hopelessness by contributing to enriching cultural life in Jenin camp and its surroundings.  

Although The Freedom Theatre’s focus is on theatre and visual arts, we do not take a neutral position on the issue of Israeli apartheid, colonization, occupation and military rule. Nor do we turn a blind eye to the internal violation of human rights, particularly the rights of women and children.

For the oppressed, the arts have always been and will always be a powerful tool against the oppressors. For us Palestinians, artistic expression is an integrated part of our struggle for justice, equality and freedom.

One of the exiled fighters featured in the play
One of the exiled fighters featured in the play
The Freedom Theatre
The Freedom Theatre
Children waiting outside The Freedom Theatre
Children waiting outside The Freedom Theatre

Links:

 

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Organization Information

The Freedom Theatre

Location: Jenin, Palestine - Palestine
Website:
The Freedom Theatre
Jonatan Stanczak
Project Leader:
Jonatan Stanczak
Jenin, Palestine

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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