Amer Hlehel text, actor – Amir Nizar Zuabi director, translation – Ashraf Hanna set design – Habib Shehadeh Hanna music – Muaz Jubeh lighting design
Adapted from Adina Hoffman’s book My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness and inspired by the life of the Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali, Taha is first and foremost a moving work which looks back over the artist’s life and work. His poetry speaks of the experiences of refugees and of the 1.5 million Palestinians who remained in Israel after the 1948-1949 War of Independence. The play is more of a celebration of the triumph of life than a reflection of a poet’s tragedy. It reconstitutes this man’s life, which was full of hope in spite losing his house, his love and his friends in 50 difficult years.
Alone on stage, the Palestinian writer and performer Amer Hlehel gives a tour de force performance, bringing Taha back to life with extraordinary stage presence, full of emotion, humour and a humanity that is completely disarming.
Actor, director and playwright Amer Hlehel is based in Haifa. He has written several plays, including Taha (Best Production- Asian arts award- Edinburgh 2017), and has appeared in numerous productions, including as Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest in David Farr’s production at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-on-Avon. Hlehel’s film work includes the Palestinian films The Time that Remains and the Golden Globe award-winning Paradise Now. Hlehel is a Sundance Institute Theatre Program alumnus.
Amir Nizar Zuabi is without doubt one of the most influential directors in the Middle East today. His first production in Ramallah brought him immediate international success. He has worked with the Young Vic Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company in the United Kingdom. He directed a controversial and openly political Samson and Dalila (2009) at the Flemish Opera and in 2008 founded the ShiberHur Theatre Company.