West Bank theatrical group bring The Siege to Hastings

The Seige Theatrical Group
The Seige Theatrical Group
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There’s a rare opportunity to see world renowned Palestine performers, The Freedom Theatre of Jenin, when they take to the stage with The Siege at St Mary in the Castle next month.

Written by Nabil Al-Raee The Siege is based on the 2002 events in of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, when 200 Israeli tanks laid siege to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and which played out parallel to the invasion of the Jenin Refugee Camp and made headlines worldwide.

The performance was created and directed by Nabil Al-Raee and Zoe Lafferty after tracing the fighters - who are now exiled across Europe - and collected their untold accounts of an event that with time has taken on almost mythical proportions.

A local spokesman, Ian Stewart, said: “This theatre of cultural resistance has struggled to survive. In 2011 the founder and director was shot dead as he left his workplace. And last week one of the current administrators was arrested by Israeli police, but it is going from strength to strength.”

The Siege, supported by the EU, the British Council, The Roddick Foundation, Steps Beyond – European Cultural Foundation, Arts Council England and The Lipman-Miliband Trust, is touring Britain in May, performing at some of the UK’s biggest venues; apart from London, Hastings is their only venue in the south east

Ian added: “The fact that our theatre used to be a church and that it’s is under a military construction that the Normans used to keep the English under control adds to the relevance.”

Tickets £15 from Hastings Tourist Information Centre, telephone 01424 451111.