ABOUT MY WORK
I am a director, theatre maker, writer, creative producer, activist and dramaturge. My work sits on the front line of social and political change putting unheard narratives focused on injustice and inequality onto mainstream stages worldwide including the Young Vic in London, the Schaubühne in Berlin and the New York Skirball.
I have collaborated with some of the most radical theatre companies and individuals world-wide. This has taken me to the heart of the most pressing issues in the UK to wars in Afghanistan and Yemen, to the occupation in Palestine, humanitarian crises in Lebanon and Haiti, the refugee crisis in Europe, undercover in the Syrian revolution and to The Marshall Islands where the USA tested over 67 nuclear weapons and is now on the frontline of the climate crisis.
I collaborate with a diverse range of people from youth, refugees, activists, journalists, resistance fighters and everyday members of society. Together we have tackled injustice, corruption and oppressive systems including colonialism, climate crisis, development aid, white supremacy, patriarchy, imprisonment, austerity and mental health.
I work from the initial conception of an idea, often using devising, verbatim, testimonial theatre, adaptions, and working as dramaturg throughout the process. I have developed projects with some of Britain’s most exciting playwrights including Anders Lustgarten, Nessah Muthy, Luke Barnes, Bola Agbaje, Hassan Abdulrazzak, Sonali Bhattacharyya and Racheal Ofori.
THE FREEDOM THEATRE, PALESTINE - ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
The key ideas behind the productions I create begun to be formed in 2009 when I started work at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, Palestine. The theatre was co-founded by Zakaria Zubeidi leader of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and actor and director Juliano Mer Khamis. It holds at its core the use of culture as a form of resistance and individual, social and political change through art. My experiences as an Associate Director across eleven years has allowed me to work in a 400 seat venue whose vision has a fluidity between political ideas, community, youth and professional productions.
In 2011 Juliano Mer Khamis the Artistic Director invited me to co-direct an adaption of Alice in Wonderland and after 40 sold out performances became the theatres most successful production at that time. One week after the final performance, Juliano was murdered outside the theatre.
In the immediate months and coming years I worked as part of the team who continued the theatre’s vision, circumnavigating the void that Juliano left. The artistic and practical challenges have been immense, the building has been attacked by the Israeli Army, death threats have been sent and members of the theatre have been arrested, interrogated, imprisoned and psychologically tortured.
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL TOURING
I have toured productions to major theatres and festivals in both the UK and Internationally including to over 20 different countries and 40 different British stages.
I have toured work to international festivals and venues including the Schaubühne in Germany, Skirball Theatre in New York, D-Caf festival in Egypt, HIFA in Zimbabwe, Vårscenefest in Norway, Red Theatre in Japan, Palestine Performing Arts Network, and Arab Arts Focus at Edinburgh Festival. I have also toured extensively in Europe including across France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and was part of the Next Stage at the Dublin Theatre Festival, later being invited back to talk at The Abbey Theatres Symposium of Change.
I have toured work to regional main spaces including Nottingham Playhouse, Liverpool Everyman, The Lowry, The Tron, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Oxford North Wall as well as studio spaces including Birmingham Rep, The Unity Liverpool, Slung Low, The Boat Shed, Alphabetti and The Cut in Halesworth.
CREATIVE DESTRUCTION - FOUNDER
Creative Destruction is an initiative to connect arts, activism and politics, committed to radical re-thinking that puts culture at the forefront of fighting for change locally and globally whilst bringing people together, identify issues, imagining solutions and platforming narratives to the world.
Officially launching at the end of 2019 after a year of preparation and research. Since then and despite complexed circumstances due to Covid 19 we have created 'Visit Bethlehem' a street performance in London, 'Future Impossible' a short film in Palestine, three online forums with audiences world-wide and 'I Don't Know What To Do' a theatre performance that integrated an audience workshop and discussion.
'The Revolution's Promise' a mass mobilisation project focusing on artists rights in Palestine is set to launch 2021 on the 10th anniversary of the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis founder and artistic director of The Freedom Theatre.
In collaboration with the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival we brought artists together online from across the globe including in the UK, USA, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Belgium and Lebanon to discuss the most issues of this moment.
NATIONAL YOUTH THEATRE - ASSOCIATE ARTIST
I am an associate artist at the National Youth Theatre directing multiple productions including, 'The Last Harvest' devised by the company, 'Lost Boys' by Luke Barnes and 'The Host' by Nessah Muthy. I have also facilitated workshops and led auditions.
I am currently working with the NYT on 'Melt' a mass scale outdoor production across the East Coast of the UK with over 1000 young people in collaboration with Hull University.
PUBLISHED PLAYS & BOOKS
As a playwright:
As a contributing writer:
Left Word Books
As a director & dramaturge:
by Racheal Ofori
by Luke Barnes
by Hassan Abdulrazzak
By Omar El Khairy
ALTERNATIVE SPACES &
SITE SPECIFIC WORK
I have made site specific work on the streets, in a caravan and a farm as well last touring productions to alternative spaces including refugee camps, community centres, prison, schools and colleges, a caravan and a boat shed.
TEACHING & WORKSHOPS
I have led workshops and talks worldwide including at the Abbey, Ireland, Tisch School of the Arts New York and The Freedom Theatre Palestine specialising in the use as culture as a form of resistance and creative disruption.
I been a visiting lecturer at multiple drama schools in Britain and directed at RADA.
My productions have featured in documentaries including World to Hear about the UK tour of the Queens of Syria a production created in collaboration with 13 women from Syria who were displaced as refugees in Jordan.
The Journey of Others with music by Roger Walters following the creative team and the obstacles we faced from borders to deportation as we toured The Siege in New York
I was the Associate Producer on Lost Nation a documentary following the effects austerity policies had on people across the UK directed by Topher Campbell
AWARDS & NOMINATIONS
Best Production Sharm El Sheikh
And Here I Am
Best Writing For Young People
Writers Guild Award
The Host / Nessah Muthy
So Many Reasons / Racheal Ofori
OLD VIC 12 -
DIRECTOR ON ATTACHMENT
I have been a director on attachment at The Old Vic as part of the Old Vic 12 working with writer Sonali Bhattacharyya to develop 'Five Years' exploring parental grief after the lost of a child.
ICE & FIRE - CREATIVE PRODUCER
I was a Creative Producer at Ice & Fire one of the UK’s leading human rights theatre companies. Our Actors For Human Rights network was specifically designed to create sustainable low cost performances that could be performed anywhere. This unique model combined activism and theatre and consists of over 700 actors across Britain, who come together to perform weekly at conferences, festivals, churches, universities or similar spaces.
LIVERPOOL ARAB ARTS FESTIVAL - TRUSTEE
I am currently a trustee of the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival the UK's longest running Arab festival.
Previously I was a trustee of Papatango Theatre Company advising them across four years.
THE RED ROOM - ASSOCIATE ARTIST
I was an Associate Artist at The Red Room led by Topher Campbell. We created work that combined theatre, activism, debate and multimedia, leading the conversation around equality, diversity, race, sexuality, feminism and class.
One of the highlights for me was building 'The Oikos Project', a pop up theatre space made out of recycled materials designed by award winning Berlin architects Kobberling and Kaltwasser, and built with over 1000 volunteers. The project specifically explored how sustainable theatre can be made and was nominated for the What’s On Stage Event and the Urban Intervention Award (Berlin) and have won the AJ Small Projects prize and AJ Sustainability prize.
Bachelor of Arts, Directing
Drama Centre, Central St Martins
Vakhtangov School, Moscow
Acting & Directing
London Metropolitan Film School
Short Film Making
Outside of theatre I ran in the E.U. elections in 2019 under the banner ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency’, am part of a team working on climate issues within my local area and am currently part of a team co-ordinating my boroughs mutual aid group in response to corona virus which also includes a foodbank, online advice hub and lunches.