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ANOTHER LOVER'S DISCOURSE Comes to London's First Palestinian Theatre Festival This Month

Performances run Saturday 22nd October – Monday 31st October 2022.

Another Lover's Discourse ليه خلّتني أحبك is the first solo theatre show created and performed by Riham Isaac, one of Palestine's most exciting contemporary artists. Encouraging a more open conversation about how we understand romantic relationships, this unique piece mashes up interviews with friends, family and strangers, combining video, music, performance and original film to explore the complexity of love and relationships.

Three years ago, Isaac embarked on a journey to explore what it means to love; what ideas do we have about it and what was holding her back from it? This inventive new multimedia performance and irreverent look at romance invites you to think differently about love; to shake off stereotypes, free yourself from old traditions and think about what you actually want. It will resonate with anyone who has ever wondered: is this really all there is?

Isaac's practice is interdisciplinary in its artform, exploring both theatrical and cinematic genres. With video installations and integrated live performance - including striking video design by Welsh artist Simon Clode - audiences should expect to be intrigued, curious, and excited by the way Isaac communicates and tells stories. With live music composed by Palestinian musician and composer Faris Ishaq, Riham sings songs inspired by classical black and white Egyptian films, in which men and women's roles were always fixed and linear. By representing a non-stereotypical and nuanced take on love, desire and romance as an Arab woman, she aims to challenge heteronormative gender roles and romantic relationships with humour, truth and empathy.

First heading to Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF), who commissioned the work as part of their 2022 focus on artists from the Middle East and North Africa, Another Lover's Discourse ليه خلتني احبك will then be performed at PalArt Festival at London's Rich Mix. Partnering with Amnesty International UK, this one-of-a-kind theatre and arts festival will present art from across Palestine that covers media such as theatre, spoken word, poetry, music and visual art. Isaac joins other Palestinian writers, performers, and artist, such as Ahmed Masoud, Dana Dajani, Areej Kaoud and Tasneim Zyada. The festival hopes to welcome all Palestinian artists, anyone who is interested in meeting like-minded artists, and those looking for an alternative experience of arts and culture.

Riham Isaac comments, The whole idea for me was to do a personal investigation into the theme of love: to find out more, maybe to find answers. I wanted to express it in its complexity because love can be very complex, it can be very simple. Sharing your personal experience with the audience - it's a healing process. A big part of my work was doing interviews, a kind of documentation where I was asking different people about love. I think one of the key moments in my performance is my interview with my mother, more of an intimate conversation that I wished I had when I was a kid. I do believe that revolution doesn't happen just by going out in the street; I think revolution starts from within.

Riham Isaac will also be hosting workshops and community work with young people alongside the performances, including events at Barbican Plymouth, Theatre Royal Bath and Belfast International Arts Festival, as well as a schools' project in Hounslow linked with the Bethlehem Cultural Festival. There will also be a breakfast event during PalArt Festival during which audiences are invited to meet and speak to Riham Isaac.

Another Lover's Discourse ليه خلّتني أحبك was commissioned by Belfast International Arts Festival, and is supported by British Council, Alkasaba Theatre and Cinématique, with funding from the Palestinian Cultural Ministry and public funding through the National Lottery by Wales Arts International and Arts Council England. Special thanks to AWAN, Palestinian National Theatre, Cultures of Resistance, Popular Art Centre and Amber Massie-Blomfield.

Performance dates

22nd & 23rd October, 7.30pm & 3pm Belfast International Arts Festival

The MAC, 10 Exchange St, West, Belfast BT1 2NJ®id=4&

29th - 31st October, 6.30pm PalArt Festival

Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London

E1 6LA

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