Riham's Blog

Seven Jewish Children – LAU Theatre Festival

Somehow, this blog has turned into the place where I share my experiences of different events. I did not intend this to happen, but I do like it since it allows me to write it instead of actually talking someone’s ears off with it.

Let’s start with the facts. Seven Jewish Children is a play for Gaza, which was done by Caryl Churchil in the UK. Friday’s performance was directed by Fuad Halwani, and is part of the International University Theatre Festival. The cast consisted of two actors, Hussein Nakhal and Assyl Ayyash, along with a doudouk player, Kevork Manoukian, who played some really nice background music.

In just 25 minutes, the two actors were able to represent years of experiences, mainly in Jewish history, as well as the creation of the state of Israel and the events that followed. The best part is that the play doesn’t directly mention any of these issues, but indirectly touches them, through Assyl’s words and Hussein’s movements. It isn’t a heavy play that talks about political or historical events, but says a lot through the words of only one of the actors, while the other actor, who in my opinion would represent the Palestinians, presents some movements in each scene, that eventually end up showing us the suffering of his people. The whole play uses the form of “Tell her / Don’t tell her” which was very interesting, and leaves the audience to interpret whether it is an internal struggle or battle that she is having, or if she is actually expressing what she would want her people and the world to know about every issue. You can sense the transition from scene to another, and from event to another, through the words said and Assyl’s attitude on stage. She goes from discussing their helpless condition (Holocaust) to stating that they are the “iron fist” and eventually, a state of war.

I have enjoyed seeing this play for more than one reason. For starters, Hussein is one of my oldest friends, & I had never seen him perform before that. Assyl is also someone I had heard about, since her mother volunteered where I used to work during university, and always told me about her and her passion for theatre. The second and most important reason is how much I miss theatre. It was one of my activities in school, and I always found time to go see plays, and somehow I do not do that anymore. It’s funny, but I ran into one of my theatre friends there, bringing back lots of memories.

I would advise you to go see it, but the performance was the fifth and final one.

You can read the script here.


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  1. * Danielle says:

    You should have told me about this performance, I would have loved to attend with you! I’m ashamed to say I know very little about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict..and would have jumped at any opportunity to learn more..Thank you for sharing this review with us..oh, and get back into theatre!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 12 months ago
    • Aw, now I feel bad! To think I went alone because I couldn’t find anyone to come with me. Next time for sure! 🙂

      | Reply Posted 7 years, 11 months ago
  2. * BeirutBoy says:

    I really wanted to watch this play during the LAU theater festival, but I didn’t!
    If they ever perform it again, though! I’m so there!
    Thanks for the review Riham 🙂

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 11 months ago

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