THEATRE: Palestinian Alice in Wonderland staged in West Bank 21Feb11 February 22, 2011

Play challenges Israeli policies

Al Arabiya -  21 February 2011

A Palestinian version of Alice in Wonderland is currently performed in the West Bank under the slogan “Break the Wall.”

On the stage of al-Horreya theatre in Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, the fantasy novel Alice in Wonderland by British writer Lewis Carroll is performed in a new context as Alice becomes a Palestinian girl whose parents try to force to marry a man she does not love.

In an attempt to escape the pressure from her family, Alice escapes from her house to the woods where she rebels against tradition and asserts her right to choose.

Throughout her journey in the world of fantasy, Alice tries to find freedom in a world of violence and injustice. After going through several conflicts and meeting people who want to control her, she manages to resist and comes back to reality a stronger woman.

The play attracted Sunday dozens of Palestinians. The audience included Arab-Israeli intellectuals, academics, and students who mainly come from the cities of Haifa, Jaffa, and Acre as well as scores of residents from Jenin and the refugee camp.

According to the managers of the theatre where Alice in Wonderland is performed, the play reflects the unity between Palestinians inside Israel and their compatriots in the occupied territories.

All Palestinians, they argue, went to the play to call for breaking the blockade on the West Bank and bringing down the separation wall and to lash out at Israeli policies.

The play dazzled audiences with a combination of dancing, singing, and acrobatics, state of the art lighting, and a revolving stage.

The adaptation, co-directed by the theatre’s artistic director Juliano Mer-Khamis and British director Zoe Lafferty, opened in the second week of January and is expected to run until the end of February.

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