In Autumn 2004 GRID IRON spent three weeks working with emerging theatre practitioners in the Middle East.
The work was funded by British Council Lebanon, Jordan and London
This production signalled the first ever site-specific show to be produced in Jordan and it took place in the working environment of the King Hussein Cancer Centre and under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Ghida Talal.
Grid Iron’s Theatre Director Ben Harrison co-directed the piece with Samar Dudin, founder and Theatre Director or Takween and the rest of the Grid Iron team (Producer Judith Doherty, Production Manager Fiona Fraser and Technical Manager/Lighting Designer Paul Claydon) introduced previously inexperienced Takween members to our tried and tested production methods.
The show itself recounted the verbatim experiences of young people who had been, or we’re still being, treated in the Cancer Centre and was performed in Arabic.
The project in Jordan came directly after we delivered a 4 day workshop in Beirut entitled Listening to the Space. The workshop took place in Estral, a former cinema on Hamra Street and in the deserted hotel building above the complex. The participants were sourced by British Council Lebanon and the workshop was part of the al-Mawsam programme run by Rola Kobeissi and Zico.
The object of the workshop was to introduce the participants to the way Grid Iron devise and then physically produce site-specific theatre and was a direct response to a desire shared by new and established practioners in Beirut to explore new ways of working and new places in which to create theatre. We looked not only at how a building can lend itself to and inform the creation of a theatre production, but also at how to use both theatre and domestic lighting equipment (of even the most basic nature) to best dramatic effect.