7TH MAY 2012
Performed by Ashtar Theatre, from Ramallah in Palestine
The dynamic Palestinian theatre company, Ashtar Theatre, bring their direct storytelling style to Shakespeare’s classic play of politics, dislocation and insurrection. Infused with the tumultuous energy of the Arab Spring, Ashtar’s Richard II is a powerfully relevant “history play”, re-told for today’s global audience.
Richard II was conceived by Ashtar Theatre for Globe to Globe, an international festival produced by Shakespeare’s Globe and was brought to Oxford by Creation Theatre Company.
Ashtar is a dynamic Palestinian theatre company with a global perspective, founded in Jerusalem in 1991 by two prominent Palestinian actors, Edward Muallem and Iman Aoun. In 2010 the group performed The Gaza Monologues, a series of stories told by the young people of Gaza – an unprecedented theatrical project involving thousands of people and 44 theatre groups from around the world. This vital theatre company bring their direct storytelling style to Shakespeare’s great masterpiece of dislocation.
Photos are © Ashtar Theatre and are taken by Mohammad Haj Ahmad
Richard II was performed in the atrium of Oxfam House. The atrium is the communal space at the heart of Oxfam’s headquarters, often used for welcoming international visitors and conferences, but never before as a performance space.
The performance forms part of the World Shakespeare Festival 2012, as well as being one of a series of events that celebrates Oxfam’s 70th anniversary year. Founded by a handful of people in Oxford in October 1942, today there are 15 Oxfams around the world working in over 90 countries. Last year Oxfam GB reached 14.5 million people in 57 countries.
Oxfam has been working in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel since the 1980s. The critical situation there continues to deprive ordinary people of their basic rights. Oxfam are working with communities on both sides to enable them to live with dignity and security, and with their rights upheld.
To find out more about Oxfam’s work in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel click here.