Mon 3 – Sat 8 July 2017, 8pm
Sat 8, 3.30pm
Wed 5 & Fri 7 July
24 Ashwin Street
London, E8 3DL
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Based on the actor Ahmed Tobasi’s personal coming of age story, And Here I Am is an epic voyage of identity and self discovery.
Combining fact and fantasy, tragedy and comedy, spanning both the first Palestinian intifada and the second, we follow him through his transformation from armed resistance fighter to artist, his journey as a refugee in the West Bank to Norway and then back again.
This series of tragicomic episodes is vividly brought to life by award winning writer Hassan Abdulrazzak, transporting us to the heart of the hardships, struggles and contradictions of a young Palestinian man growing up under occupation and his pursuit for the true meaning of freedom.
Performed by Ahmed Tobasi
Written by Hassan Abdulrazzak
Directed by Zoe Lafferty
Hassan Abdulrazzak an award winning writer of Iraqi origin, born in Prague and living in London. His work has been performed across the UK including at The Gate, The Soho Theatre, Ovalhouse, The Arcola and had his productions performed as part of the Shubbak festival, PlayWROUGHT3 and Golden Thread ReOrient festival. His work has been performed internationaly including in America, Australia, India and the Middle East. More recently he was commissioned by the Kevin Spacey Foundation to write Dhow Under The Sun, a play for 35 young actors, which was staged in Sharjah, UAE.
Hassan is a published poet and has written essays for the Guardian, the Edinburgh Re- view and Al-Ahram Weekly.
Hassan has won the George Devine, Meyer Whitworth, Pearson and the Arab British Cen- tre Award for Culture. He holds a PhD in molecular biology and has worked at Harvard and Imperial College. He is currently working on a number of theatre, TV and film projects.
Tobasi is an actor, director and educator with experience working in both Palestinian and international theatres. After two years studying at The Freedom Theatre, Tobasi undertook further education in Norway training at the renowned Nordic Black Theatre. He then joined their professional company where he performed in productions including, Guantanamo What Now?, Destination Africa and Journey to Identity. He also directed his own work, most notably Fairoz’s Secret which toured across Norway.
In 2013 he returned to Jenin Refugee Camp and to The Freedom Theatre contributing to the local artistic movement which focused on using culture as a form of resistance. At The Freedom Theatre he runs the youth program sparking an artistic fever amongst the younger generations. He writes and directs his own production, as well as teaching and most recently performed in The Siege which toured Palestine and leading theatres across Britain.
Whilst currently working at The Freedom Theatre, Tobasi continues to act in projects both locally and internationally that offer alternative narratives and share Palestinian experi- ences with new audiences.
Zoe is a theatre director creating new work. Her research has taken her to Afghanistan, The Marshall Islands, Haiti, Europe, Palestine, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
Zoe’s productions have been performed world wide including in Britain, Palestine, Japan, and across Europe and has been funded by the Arts Council, British Council, Goethe Insti- tute and the UN.
In Britain she has directed theatre for the BAC, Unicorn Theatre, The Finborough Theatre, Riverside Studios, Park Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, The Lowry, Birmingham Rep, The Tron Soho Theatre, and at the Edinburgh Festival and have developed work with the National Theatre of Wales, Hammersmith Lyric and SOAS and Kent University.
Zoe has worked extensively for The Freedom Theatre, Palestine and The Red Room Britain and has co-founded The Moving Theatre and The Freedom Theatre UK Friends. She is currently a director as part of The Old Vic 12 and a creative producer at Ice&Fire.
And Here I Am is touring nationally, for more details visit developingartists.org.uk.
27–28 June: Everyman Cheltenham
30 June – 1 July: Nuffield, Southampton
10–11 July: The Lowry, Salford
12 July: Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, Unity Theatre
14–15 July: Bike Shed, Exeter
17–18 July: Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh
19 July: North Wall, Oxford
22 July: The Cut, Halesworth
Presented in partnership with Developing Artists and Arcola Theatre, with support from British Council.