Queens of Syria
Queens of Syria (the documentary) tells the story of fifty women from Syria, all forced into exile in Jordan, who came together in Autumn 2013 to create and perform their own version of the Trojan Women, the timeless Ancient Greek tragedy all about the plight of women in war. Not one of them had ever acted before.
What followed was an extraordinary moment of cross-cultural contact across millennia, in which women born in 20th century Syria found a blazingly vivid mirror of their own experiences in the stories of a queen, princesses and ordinary women like them, uprooted, enslaved and bereaved by the Trojan War.
On stage the women courageously explore parallels between the ancient Greek tragedy and the catastrophe of today’s civil war. Their first-hand experience of a country in turmoil mirrors the Trojan women they portray, displaced and enslaved by war. This production premiered at the Young Vic Theatre in July 2016, following a four week workshop process in Jordan, before embarking on a UK tour.
It was a process charged with emotion and fraught with challenges, as long buried issues came to the surface, and at times the project itself hung in the balance.
For this non-professional cast, the ancient text offers opportunities to express feelings of loss in the form of group therapy, adding an additional layer of poignancy to an already deeply charged play. Helped along by development funds and Indiegogo, Fedda’s low-budget pic, stemming from the touring “Syria Trojan Women Project,” has won Abu Dhabi’s prize for best director from the Arab world.
DIRECTOR: Yasmin Fedda
PRODUCERS: Itab Azzam and Georgina Paget
EDITOR: Greg Pittard
MUSIC: Robin Schlochtermeier
CAMERA and SOUND RECORDING: Yasmin Fedda
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Charlotte Eagar, William Stirling, Sawsan Asfari
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Refuge Productions Limited
In Arabic with Greek and English subtitles
Organisation: Rialto Theatre and British Council
Sponsors: National Mechanism for Women's Rights & British High Commission Nicosia
Media Sponsor: Cybc
Free Entrance (Seat reservation essential)