When Vienna Toma was a little girl in Iraq, she and her sisters would wait until the men had left, then they’d let the pigeons go and climb onto their home’s flat roof, where they’d lay on their backs and watch them fly. She told me other stories too, partial memories that I used to create the play ‘Sharaf.’
But because the play was mostly Arabic, and its story epic and with strong feminist themes, I truly never thought it would ever be seen or heard.
Now though, thanks to the Egyptian based director, Mohammed Hashem every week we have been rehearsing the play over Zoom in preparation for a global performance. This week, thanks to the promoter Reham Maklid, Mohammed the Composer Hayat Selim and my gorgeous and vibrant friend Vienna were interviewed by Iman Riman on SBS Arabic Radio.
I listened to the interview, all of it in Arabic. It did my head in to be honest. In a good way. Who would have ever thought?
There will be a lot more announcements about this play soon, apart from this, the marketing for the global read of Sharaf is being handled by the multi-talented, Ahmed Harfoush III.
Marooned tickets to The Alex are selling well, and both Darren Mort, the new 379 and Ben Griffiths the new 1620 are doing really well, bringing as new actors do, their own flavours to their roles. If we are to continue the path to being a repertory company, producing our own plays as we have been doing, constantly rehearsing new actors will be an essential skill. Fortunately, it’s a lot of fun.
Also, we have raised enough money to shoot the play, Marooned, which we will do after The Alex season. Marooned is also at The Kingston Arts Centre on May the 1st.
Kingston Arts Centre
979-985 Nepean Highway, Moorabbin
Saturday 1 May, 7.30pm
THE MAGNOLIA TREE update.
The Magnolia Tree is on track to have a television ad to promote the regional tour. We have fifteen seconds and 30 words to sell it. It will be interesting to see if the investment is worth it. Tottie is in Queensland at the moment so with its one covid case we’re hoping she doesn’t get stuck there. We had a great rehearsal this week, and Ezra Bix, the only actor to play Jack, has this gorgeous talent of thinking on the line, he’s a professional joy to work with.
THE SEAGULL KING Update
Rohana Hayes is directing The Wolves first comedy, ‘The Seagull King,’ which was written for Kirk Alexander. And what’s amazing is Rohana is also re-rehearsing the role of 768 with the new cast in Marooned, rehearsing the role of Deb in The Magnolia Tree, and now she’s trying to do something she’s been hankering to do for a while, directing.
Dates to be announced.
So, with Covid still lurking about like a promise of an eclipse we’re still here, so let’s see what the future brings.