The Palestinian story has become synonymous with occupation,
landlessness and the struggle for nationhood. But what's it like for the
individual, when the threat knocks on his own door? Whose home is it anyway?
In the spring of 2002, the Israeli Army - the fourth most powerful
in the world - invaded the West Bank city of Ramallah and laid siege to its
people for one long month. Ramallah, known as the 'Bride of Palestine' for
its heritage, internationalism, economy, and vibrant mix of Christian and
Muslim traditions, was devastated, and its people killed. Palestinian
cultural organizations were singled out for destruction.
When the Bulbul Stopped Singing is a tour de force for one actor which documents Raja Shehadeh's determination to withstand invasion and
draws a meticulous, quiet picture of sheer ordinariness fighting back: tanks
at the end of the street; soldiers camping out in his brother's apartment;
crops rotting in the fields; no bread. And still Raja paces his house and
wryly attests to the Palestinian secret weapon: 'surmoud', or perseverance.
The stage adaptation is by David Greig, one of Scotland's leading
playwrights, whose plays for the Traverse include Outlying Islands, The
Speculator, The Architect and Europe. David has worked in Palestine with Al Kasaba Theatre Company and has written widely about the region.
Part of Brits Off Broadway.
Visit the When the Bulbul Stopped Singing website: