Ashtar to Bring THIS FLESH IS MINE to Testbed1, 19-25 May
Renowned Palestinian theatre company ASHTAR Theatre return to London following their acclaimed production of Richard II at 2012's Globe to Globe Festival,
Following previews in Ramallah, Palestine in early May, This Flesh is Mine will play at London's Testbed1 from 19 - 25 May as the centrepiece of a Middle Eastern festival offering film screenings, live performance, food stalls and an artist's gallery.
"She shares my tent, she shares my bed. Her flesh is mine."
Achilles, the greatest of the Achaean warriors, refuses to fight; angered that King Agamemnon has stolen his captive slave-girl, Briseis. But Briseis has dreams and desires of her own.
Based on Homer`s Iliad, This Flesh is Mine uses the myth of the Trojan war to reflect on today's Middle Eastern conflicts. Under the direction of Michael Walling (founder of Border Crossings), and with a six-strong cast made up of three Palestinian and three British actors including ASHTAR's Artistic Director Iman Aoun as Hecuba, the production will rehearse and preview in Ramallah, Palestine in April and May before coming to London. The production leads the audience through Battersea's evocative Testbed1: a venue that will also host films, food stalls, fine art and performances as part of a Middle Eastern pop-up festival for all the senses.
These include: Food by Moorish before all performances; a screening of Jonathan Meth and Steve Tiller's Two Schmucks, Three Opinions (Sunday 25 May at 12pm); Jonathan Chadwick's film Gaza - Opening Signs (Wednesday 14 May at 5pm) and Yazan Khalili's art exhibition Regarding Distance at Edge of Arabia Gallery, next door to Testbed, throughout the run.
Playwright Brian Woolland's previous plays include: four for theatre-in-education companies - Away Games and Streetwise in Paradise both toured in France, Germany and through the UK; Stand or Fall for Playing for Time, a theatre company which specializes in creating theatre in prisons; and A Terrible Madness for the Arts Academy, Ballarat, Australia. His previous play for Border Crossings, Double Tongue, was originally presented at the Old Red Lion Theatre, London. It was subsequently revived and toured in Hungary and England.
Director Michael Walling is Artistic Director of Border Crossings. He has directed all over the world, winning awards for Two Gentlemen of Verona in the US and Paul & Virginie in Mauritius. Opera includes The Ring (ENO) and Xerxes (San Francisco). He is Visiting Professor at Rose Bruford College.
Iman Aoun (Hecuba) is Artistic Director of ASHTAR Theatre in Palestine. She was last seen in London in their acclaimed Richard II at the Globe to Globe Festival in 2012. Andrew French's (Achilles) credits include Julius Caesar (RSC), Measure for Measure (Almeida), Refugee Boy, The Jungle Book (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Merchant Of Venice, Troilus and Cressida (National Theatre) and Things Fall Apart (Royal Court/WYP). Gerrard McArthur (Priam / Phoenix) is Associate Director of the Wrestling School. He recently appeared in Scenes from an Execution at the National Theatre. Other cast includes Razan Alazzeh, Emile André and David Broughton-Davies.
ASHTAR is a dynamic Palestinian theatre company with a global perspective, founded in Jerusalem in 1991. In 2010 the group performed The Gaza Monologues, a series of stories told by the young people of Gaza - an unprecedented theatrical project involving thousands of people and 44 theatre groups from around the world.