Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Unto the Breach - a new show by Al Zaytouna Dance Theatre

Revolution scene from the show's preview - Laban, June 2012

Al Zaytouna Dance Theatre, a London-based Palestinian dabke dance theatre company, are currently putting the final touches to their new show, Unto the Breach.

The show, which makes its debut at the arts depot theatre in North Finchley on the 9th and 10th November, is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V.

Set in modern-day Palestine and inspired by the recent Arab Spring, the show uses the Shakespearian play as a foundation to convey the universal themes of courage, determination and loyalty - enabling a wider Western audience to relate to the Palestinian struggle via a vehicle they are familiar with.

Working on a dramatic scene in rehearsals

The show had its preview in June at Laban dance studios, to a select audience of critics. The full show in November has been built on the feedback given at the preview, and is supported by a BBC Performing Arts Grant.

Unto the Breach offers the audience contemporary and Palestinian folk dance, poetry, theatre and digital media, as well as traditional Palestinian music and original compositions by David Randall (guitarist from Faithless).

Actress Clare Quinn plays the Shakespearian Chorus, with a script which builds on the original text by using language to paint a picture of modern-day Palestine, rather than 15th century France.

Hadjer Nacer, one of the director's and a performer in the show, gave us an exclusive interview about the group and the latest show (below).

Tickets for Unto the Breach are £16 in advance (£14 for concessions) or £19 on the door, and can be bought by calling the artsdepot box office on 020 8369 5454, or on the theatre's online site.

Join the Facebook event for the show here.

Leila x


  1. Unfortunately I can't go because of prior commitment, so I am sorry. Palestinian culture and history is celebrated for it's unique voice and because it can teaches us all about the degrees of selfless humanism a propos the global threat of destructive inhumanity.

    It's also an act of defiance against zionists who wish to destroy as much Palestinian culture as possible in order to prove only savages lived there before. A land whose deeds go back 6000yrs.

    Viva Palestinian rights to return to their homeland and to the maintanence of vibrant national identity!

  2. Thank you for your comment Keith. Cultural resistance is so important for the reasons you stated above, and to celebrate the rich Palestinian cultural heritage!

    Al Zaytouna will perform the show again in the future, so keep an eye out here for more updates, and make sure you like the Al Zaytouna Dance Theatre Facebook page.