Sandpit Arts' BULBUL 2013 Showcase Set for Nightingale Theatre, Nov 1
The Arab arts charity behind the winner of this years New Writing South Best New Play award has announced the return of Bulbul, an evening of performances of new writing from and about the Arab world and its surrounding regions. Supported by the Arts Council England, and running for the second year, Bulbul is Sandpit Arts' playwriting competition. The winners of this year's instalment wrote in response to the theme of 'crying over the ruins' a reference to the ancient Arab poets standing at The Remains of the Bedouin campsite lamenting the loss of happier times.
The Bulbul 2013 showcase will run on Friday 1st November 2013 at 7:30 pm the Nightingale Theatre and will feature the following thirty-minute three winning plays.
By Hannah Khalil
Directed by Guilaume Laroche
Inspired by a true story, Bitterenders is a dark comedy about a family of Palestinians who find themselves forced to share their home with Jewish settlers by a court ruling. When the daughter, Maha, crosses the imposing chalk line separating her family from the interlopers, she discovers something that threatens to destroy this already fragile home altogether.
Casualties of War
By Heather Dunmore
Directed by Ahmed Masoud
Two Afghani teenagers are being interviewed to determine whether their application for asylum will be granted. Escorting them is poppy-wearing near-retiree Harry, who chats to them casually about his own wartime experiences and how to tell a good story. Meanwhile, the Immigration Officer has exceeded her quota and can only allow one in. Will she make the right decision?
By Stephen Keyworth
Directed by Akkas Al-Ali
Stylistically bold and shot through with humour, this is a story about the unlikely friendship between a Palestinian Shepherd and an Israeli soldier. One day, the shepherd disappears. Suspecting foul play, the Israeli soldier goes on a journey to find him, encountering cruelty and absurdity, but also finding hope.
Sandpit Arts' co-artistic director, Akkas Al-Ali, said: 'We're thrilled that Bulbul is coming to Brighton again! We've had entries from Muscat to Norwich, and all the judges were impressed by the high quality of the writing. These plays reflect a world that is far away from 24-hour rolling news networks. They also teach us about our common humanity.'
Zeina Frangie-Eyres, Sandpit Arts' co-artistic director, added: 'Bulbul is Arabic for 'Nightingale', and is one of the obvious reasons behind the desire to stage Sandpit's work at the Nightingale Theatre. More importantly he nightingale is also the embodiment of eloquence and outspokenness in Arabic folklore - the mouthpiece for truth and justice. This symbol is incredibly powerful at a time when the Arab world is crying out to be viewed through different lens.'
After last year's sell-out success of Sandpit's playwriting competition showcase, Bulbul with the support of Arts Council England commissioned two of its winning entries, Tunnel by Mags Chalcraft and Gather Ye Rosebuds by Silvia Sermician, to be developed into full-length productions for the Brighton Festival Fringe. Both received four-star reviews and Gather Ye Rosebuds won New Writing South's Best New Play Award 2013 and has recently completed a run at London's Theatre503.
Tunnel and Gather Ye Rosebuds were selected from the winners of Bulbul 2012, Sandpit's first annual playwriting competition. Writers from around the world were invited to submit 30-minute plays in response to the Arab Spring and the four winners were produced at The Nightingale in September 2012. They were chosen by an independent panel of judges: Steven Brett (artistic director, The Nightingale), Chris Taylor (director, New Writing South), Diyan Zora (creative director, Swivel Theatre Company), Julian Caddy (managing director, Brighton Fringe) and Tanushka Marah (artistic director, Company:Collisions).
This year's independent panel of judges comprised of Chris Taylor (director, New Writing South); Steven Brett (artistic director, The Nightingale Theatre) and Ahmed Masoud (director, Al Zaytouna).
Hannah Khalil is a Palestinian Irish playwright who grew up in the Middle East. She has had 3 plays produced on the London fringe, Leaving Home at the King's Head, The Unofficial Guide at the BAC and Plan D at the Tristan Bates Theatre where it was nominated for the Meyer Whitworth Award. Her first Radio play -The Deportation Room - aired on BBC Radio 4 in September 2012.