In January 2016 we came across a new anthology of plays called ‘Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora.’ We loved the rich canon of material so much that we developed a project we called ‘Platform for Palestinian Arts’ to explore the works of often underrepresented writers and artists. It aimed to shine a light on and explore the writing of Palestinian playwrights and poets with diverse communities in and around Manchester. A series of creative writing workshops were devised to inspire new writing and we delivered these in different spaces working with Palestinian playwrights and with local Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) artists. We have delivered workshops in collaboration with Manchester Muslim Writers, Hard Rain Poetry, Young Identity at Contact Theatre, Apna Women’s group in Haslingdon and with Commonword. This project was supported by In Place of War and Panda Arts and was endorsed by Actress Maxine Peak who stated, ‘I think it’s fiercely important that these plays are brought to the North. Art is one of the clearest and most effective ways to connect and affect.’ Remi Kanazi, Palestinian poet also supported the project.
You can read some of the new writing created in the workshops HERE.
On March 11th 2017 we had a celebration event for this project which comprised of a creative writing workshop with Palestinian playwright Hannah Khalil in the morning. In the afternoon we had an informal sharing consisting of readings from the Palestinian plays explored in the workshops. Participants also shared their writing inspired by the plays. A Q&A with Ahmed Masoud and Hannah Khalil – two Palestinian playwrights from London brought the informal sharing event to a close.
Palestine arts event at HOME Theatre Arts Centre June 8th and 9th 2017.
We invited acclaimed Palestinian playwright Ahmed Masoud to Manchester to deliver a creative writing workshop that explored techniques of script writing and character building. This was followed by a collaboration with Outside the Frame Arts and HOME presenting a reading of Ahmed Masoud’s satirical play, The Shroud Maker. A compelling black comedy, it tells a woman’s story of survival through modern history delving deep into the intimate life of ordinary Palestinians to weave a highly distinctive path through Palestine’s turbulent past and present. Directed by Richard Beecham and performed by internationally acclaimed actress Kathryn Hunter.
Read our blog posts about both events here: