The Freedom Theatre embarks on UK tour with The Siege

"It is very exciting to welcome The Freedom Theatre’s tour of their new play ‘The Siege’ to Britain. This is real political theatre, performed out of the both terrible and inspiring experience of a struggle for freedom and justice. They are living proof that telling stories and entertaining audiences are powerful acts of resistance to oppression. Do go and see them, they have news for us. This little theatre could change the world.” Howard Brenton, playwright

Receiving outstanding reviews, The Siege by The Freedom Theatre has just ended a series of sold-out performances across the West Bank. Large audiences from Jenin to Bethlehem were captured throughout the play; laughing, crying and cheering as the story of the siege of Bethlehem in 2002 unfolded.

"We chose to portray the siege of the Church of the Nativity because it was such an important event in Palestinian society", says Nabil Al-Raee, artistic director of The Freedom Theatre and co-creator of The Siege. "It is still important for a lot of people, especially for the fighters who were exiled indefinitely, and for their families. We used the story of the siege of Bethlehem to speak about the siege of Palestine that is ongoing since 1948. I also have a personal connection to this event as some of my friends were in the church."

The Siege opened to a full house at The Freedom Theatre on April 4, the fourth anniversary of the unsolved murder of the theatre's general director and co-founder, Juliano Mer Khamis in 2011. April 4 is also the anniversary of the large-scale invasion of Jenin Refugee Camp by the occupation forces in 2002, which played out in parallel to the siege of Bethlehem. The last performance of The Siege took place in Bethlehem, a very symbolic event attended by over 350 people, some of whom had personal experiences of those fateful 39 days when the entire centre of Bethlehem was under curfew.

The Siege brings together Palestinian actors from the West Bank, Palestine '48/Israel and Jerusalem, as well as a creative team with Palestinian and international members, including The Freedom Theatre co-founder, composer and activist Dror Feiler and composer Nicola Kodjabashia. (Find full list of creative team, cast and production team here).

The Siege will soon embark on The Freedom Theatre's first UK tour, with a string of performances across Britain.

"I think it is important that The Freedom Theatre comes to Britain because it is about time that British people understand the true narrative of what is going on in Palestine, and our relationship to that", says Zoe Lafferty, British co-creator of The Siege. "I believe that The Freedom Theatre is one of the strongest voices to tell those stories."
UK tour dates & details: Click here

"This is a rare opportunity to see this famous company. This should be not only exciting theatre but give us an insight into the horrific oppression suffered by Palestinians in the territories occupied by Israel. I’m sure the performance will be a hit!” Ken Loach, film director

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