national Arts Festival Banner

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


(Zahir Bassa, Tommy Lee Delport & Hoosen Farouk Sayed)
Local theatre group, GreenLight Productions will premiere their new play, Sands of Palestine at Seabrooke’s Theatre on April 13. The play is set at a checkpoint near Jerusalem and deals with the journey of Abu Hamza, a simple farmer who has lost everything and needs to get to Jerusalem to claim the house of his father.
He is accompanied by his son Moosa, an angry young man with militant tendencies who cannot accept what has happened to them. Tensions between father and son explode on the road as the past returns to haunt them. A further complication is that they do not have the requisite permits to go through the checkpoint and a young Israeli soldier, Joshua, denies them passage. Circumstances change when Joshua is forced to spend the night at the checkpoint with the father and son who he regards as dangerous terrorists.
During the long night, he begins to interact with Abu Hamza and his character is revealed as a young and frightened conscript who dreams of being a rap singer. Moosa, however, makes no secret of his hatred for the system that makes him a stranger in his own country. Mandela’s name is invoked by both Joshua and Moosa revealing the yearning for peace deep with them. The tension is heightened when Moosa’s hidden agenda is revealed and the conflict between father and son on the one hand and Joshua the soldier and Moosa on the other intensifies.
Beneath the surface story is a complex mosaic of human emotions, the politics of dispossession and the meaning of life in a violent and chaotic part of the world. It is an exploration of the human condition at its most fragile or at its most volatile where pent-up frustrations must explode on the stage. Ultimately, Sands of Palestine is a play about peace. It also highlights the daily injustices faced by ordinary Palestinians and gives a human face to the Israeli soldier.
Directed by theatre veteran Vivian Moodley, the play is written by Yusuf Haffejee, nominee for best script at Mercury Theatre Awards 2011 for his play Bittersweet. The cast includes veteran Hoosen Farouk Sayed as Abu Hamza, Zahir Bassa as Moosa and young newcomer, Tommy Lee Delport as Joshua.

Sands of Palestine runs from April 13 to 24 with performances from Monday to Thursday at 19h30; Friday and Saturday at 20h00 and Sunday at 18h30. Tickets R100 available from Al Ansaar Book & Media Centre in Overport or through Vivian Moodley on 072 567 7201. Seabrooke’s Theatre is situated at the Durban High School (DHS), St Thomas Road, Musgrave.