Tag Archives: Anna Jahjah

SON OF BYBLOS COMING TO BELVOIR

In James Elazzi’s THE SON OF BYBLOS, Adam has everything under control. As each day passes and he knows what to expect: Casual sex when he wants it, his traditional Lebanese parents wrapped around his finger and the only person he can be his true self with, his cousin Claire, always right by his side. He has a grip on everything and is content.

Until Claire suddenly announces her engagement to a man abroad in Lebanon.

With this one decision their truce is shaken, and little by little Adam begins to lose his grip. Sex isn’t getting him high anymore and his parents start asking questions he hasn’t prepared answers to. His private world and cultural expectations finally clash and the lies that used to keep his life together won’t work for him any longer.

Written by James Elazzi and directed by Anna Jahjah, SON Of BYBLOS is presented by Brave New Word Theatre Company and will play downstairs at Belvoir Street Theatre between the 4th and 21st May 2022. The production is part of Belvoir’s 25A initiative to support the artists of the future.

EXIT THE KING @ CHIPPEN STREET THEATRE

Theatre Excentrique under the informed , thoughtful direction of Anna Jahjah have brought to Sydney a fresh , exciting and challenging production of Eugene Ionesco’s EXIT THE KING , a classic example of his ‘absurdist’ works , in an updated translation featuring the baroque music of cellist/vocalist extraordinaire Sister Ursuline, it is a metaphysical meditation on death and preparing to die.

We enter a topsy turvy and shattered world where time is bent , fluid and changeable. King Bérenger the First is dying after an extremely long life. His kingdom is disintegrating . He no longer can head his army, tell the rain to fall, nor the trees to grow. He is dying and there is nothing he can do to prevent it. He has lived from moment to moment but now there is no more time .His first wife, Queen Marguerite , is obsessively keeping track of time. “You will die in 1 hour and 30 minutes!” she informs him. And the doctor agrees. But King Bereneger refuses to listen. He chooses instead to bask in the love of his second wife, Queen Marie. Suddenly there are just “1 hour and 13 minutes left!” .Or is it fifteen ?The clock is ticking… Surrounded by his two wives, his cleaning lady, his doctor and a guard, Bérenger has to learn to accept the inevitable .He struggles and rages against it but to no avail. Continue reading EXIT THE KING @ CHIPPEN STREET THEATRE

THEATRE EXCENTRIQUE PRESENTS BEIRUT ADRENALINE @ DOWNSTAIRS BELVOIR STREET

beirut-adrenaline(2) (1)

The intimate space of the tiny downstairs theatre at Belvoir Street has been transformed to become 1986 war time Beirut in this mesmerizing current production. As directed excellently by Anna Jahjah this is BEIRUT ADRENALINE’s Australian premiere as well as being its first production in English.

Set design by Clarisse Ambroselli is a bullet holed scarred wall which also doubles as a projection screen with portable props such as folding chairs, tables, mattresses…The sparse minimal staging allows for fluid scene changes and wonderfully impressive lighting by Larry Kelly. Continue reading THEATRE EXCENTRIQUE PRESENTS BEIRUT ADRENALINE @ DOWNSTAIRS BELVOIR STREET

Antigone by Jean Anouith @ The Pact Theatre

Ellen Williams and Neil ModraETheatre Excentrique: Antigone by Jean Anouith
Ellen Williams and Neil ModraETheatre Excentrique: Antigone by Jean Anouith

My friend has two sisters and I only have a brother. Familial practices, allegiances and secrets lie at the dichotomous heart of Theatre Excentrique’s ANTIGONE. A modern audience does not bear the weight of Antigone’s terrible ancestral turmoil but this sparse, drum punctuated production encourages each responder to bring their own sibling background to the interpretation.

On the surface, Antigone appears to be driven by a spiritual imperative to ease the wandered suffering of her dead brother’s soul but politics and power are encountered first in the domestic setting. My friend and I saw different shows. Both engaging, then absorbing, then intriguing: but different. We never really recover from family. Continue reading Antigone by Jean Anouith @ The Pact Theatre