NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE / BAC / BIRMINGHAM REP / THE LOWRY / THE TRON / THE LAKESIDE / THE HUB / THE MERLIN
HASTINGS / THE CUT
April 2002. Spring in Bethlehem.
A group of armed men seek sanctuary in one of the world’s holiest sites as the Israeli army closes in with helicopters, tanks and snipers. Along with the fighters are some 200 priests, nuns and civilians. The siege lasts for 39 days, paralysing the center of Bethlehem and keeping tens of thousands under curfew. Inside the Church of Nativity the besieged are hungry and weakening. The smell of unwashed bodies and broken lavatories is mixed with the stench from the suppurating wounds of the injured. Two dead bodies are decomposing in a cave below the church. While the world is watching, the fighters are faced with the question of whether to struggle to the end or to surrender. No matter what they choose, they will have to leave their families and their homeland behind forever.
The Siege is based on the 2002 events in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, that played out parallell to the invasion of Jenin Refugee Camp and made headlines worldwide. The directors traced the fighters, now exiled across Europe and Gaza, and collected their untold accounts of an event that with time has taken on almost mythical proportions.
Producer The Freedom Theatre
Co Creators & Directors Zoe Lafferty and Nabil Al Raee
Set Designer Anna Gisle
Lighting Designer Andy Purves
Music & Sound Designer Nikola Kodjabashia, Noor Al-Raee,
Costume Designer Mohamed Yousef
Assistant Director Ala Shehada
Researchers Ismael Jabarine, Zoe Lafferty
Cast Ahmed Rokh, Ahmed Tobasi, Faisal Abu Alheja, Hassan Taha
Milad Qunebe, Rabee Hanani