Amir Nizar Zuabi directs this production Hlehel's Ali retells the story of his life. While the staging might be simple, it is still evocative: Zuabi clearly delineates places Ali considers home, and the lights change ever so slightly between hues of lush green and dusty yellow. Interwoven throughout these narratives is Ali’s expressive poetry, spoken in Arabic by Hlehel with surtitles behind. The poetry resonates in conjunction with Ali’s stories of his hometown, Saffuriyya in Galilee, and together they build a moving and painful tale of forced relocation met with resilience.
Part of Taha’s success is its simplicity. With only a small bench within a boxed space, the absence of excess set allows Hlehel to stand front and centre for most of the piece and paint with words. He plays Ali as honest and earnest, but in between monologues Hlehel gives hints of the effects from the lingering trauma.
Its simplicity however is also its weakness. Without any outside influences to act against, Hlehel is limited by his environment. At times the pacing of Taha feels slightly slow, and perhaps could be shortened to an even hour. Nevertheless, Taha is an eloquent and touching piece of theatre that reflects on poetry as a tool to understand, to heal, and to bear witness.
|What||Taha, Young Vic review|
|Where||The Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo, London, SE1 8LZ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Southwark (underground)|
07 Jul 17 – 15 Jul 17, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book now|