An English classic in the Arab world: Shakespeare play gets Palestinian twist
Unto the Breach.
On a London stage, Shakespeare's literary classic Henry V is set in modern-day Palestine and portrays the contemporary aspirations of Arabs to shape a brighter future. The UK’s most prominent Palestinian dance theatre troupe, Al-Zaytouna, adapts the Shakespearean classic with a contemporary twist for two performances on 9 and 10 November at the Pentland Theatre.
Award-winning playwright, director and author Ahmed Masoud worked with Hadjer Nacer to dramatise a modern Henry V with elements of Arab culture, such as a Palestinian folk dance, contemporary dance, poetry and digital media.
The dramatist attempts to draw comparisons between the Shakespeare’s politicised play and the dynamics of today’s tumultuous Arab region. Rebellion is combined with dance in this ambitious rendition of Henry V.
The Al-Zaytouna troupe, which fuses traditional Palestinian dabke dance with Western theatre, poetry, literature and music, was established in 2005 with a crystal clear goal: to promote Palestinian culture and challenge misperceptions in the West.
Supported by a BBC Performing Arts Grant, Unto the Breach was “Inspired by the Arab Spring and the aspirations of people across the Arab world to change their circumstances and shape their future,” reads Al-Zaytouna’s press release.
“The show highlights the efforts of Palestinians to do the same, while exploring universal themes of hope, courage, loyalty and determination against the odds.”
Friday 9 and Saturday 10 November at 7.30pm
Pentland Theatre, Arts Depot 5
Tally Ho Corner