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Duration: 150 min
Actors: Nathalie Armin, Paul Higgins, Alex Elliott, Dolya Gavanski
Director: Philip Howard
Writer: David Greig
Light Designer: Tom Zwitserlood
Sound: AV Operator
Stage Manager: Christabel Anderson
Deputy Stage Manager: Natasha Lee -Walsh

Damascus, written by David Greig, is the first UK play touring in the Near East and North Africa region as part of the British Council’s theme aiming at presenting UK plays that have been influenced by Arab culture. This theme aims to explore the influence of the growing interest of UK theatre in the Arab culture, to give audiences in the region the opportunity to see plays that address their image in the UK, and to create platforms for commenting on and debating about these plays directly with the UK theatre makers, critics and journalists who have and interest in the region, and their Arab counterparts. Through touring UK plays such as Damascus , surrounding debates, the theme aims to provide a platform to explore the socio-political relationship between the UK and the Arab world and enhance a better dialogue and understanding. Set in the foyer of a small hotel in the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth, Damascus has been perceived in the UK as a play that challenges existing stereotypes of the region in the UK. The regional tour of Damascus is supported by the British Council and produced by the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, and Michael Edwards and Carole Winter. Performances of the play, wrap around debates and discussion panels will be presented in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestinian Territories, Egypt and Tunisia between March and April 2009. Damascus marks Greig’s sixth collaboration with director Philip Howard at the Traverse Theatre. The full script is published by Faber in 2007.
Describing the experience that lead him to writing Damascus, Greig says: ’Damascus came about as an unexpected by product of the artistic exchange I have been privileged to have with young theatre makers in the Middle East, particularly in Syria and Palestine since 2000. During that time I have led a number of playwriting workshops in the region facilitated and encouraged by, amongst other organizations, The British Council. ……….whatever the Arab writers learned – the workshops ended up teaching me an enormous amount about the complexities of relations between the west and the Arab world. In the end, despite my best efforts to avoid it, I felt compelled to write a play to explore those complexities.

About the Company:

Thursday 9/4 Al-Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque – Ramallah 2:30 pm
Saturday 11/4 Al-Kasaba Theatre and Cinematheque – Ramallah 7:00 pm
Q&A after the performances.

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