Through the Libyan Street Theatre project, a new form of artistic expression enters the Libyan art scene for the first time.
The project is the result of a partnership between the British Council in Libya, the Libyan National Theatre and the European Union. It aims to raise the profile of Street Theatre in Libya by forging links with international experts to increase public access to the arts in Libya and provide the opportunity for young Libyan theatre students to work with a well-established British outdoor theatre director. This is an unprecedented opportunity for the young Libyan cast and production involved in the project, as well as an opportunity for the public to experience a unique performance.
British Council presents first street theatre in Libya
The innovative performance took place at Busitta horse track on Saturday 22 March and drew a large crowd of around 500 people including children, teenagers and adults who were delighted to catch the show. One member of the audience said it was a beautiful surprise.
The play features a family going on a picnic to celebrate the birthday of one of the children. Each family member donates the birthday boy with presents which turn out to have magical powers. Among them is a television with a magical remote control that brings each channel to life.
The successful performance was the culmination of the hard work of the Libyan production team, which included a scriptwriter, assistant director, musical director, sound technician and set designer, and of an enthusiast group of Libyan actors. London-based theatre director Nathan Curry supported the Libyan National Theatre in this exciting performance.
Several media outlets attended as well as representatives from the Delegation of the European Union and other diplomatic missions. It was fantastic to see so many smiling faces during the performance, which went down without a hitch. After the show, one member of the audience left a note on the comments board saying, ‘Theatre is the professor of the people, let us learn from theatre’.
Libyan Street Theatre to perform at London festival
Following a successful performance in Tripoli, the team of actors and a musician were invited to take part in the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (GDIF) 2014, which is London’s largest and longest established festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts.
The actors will spend 10 days working with UK outdoor theatre company Periplum to create a new performance especially for the Festival. The performances will take place Wed 25 June – Thu 26 June 19:15 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, E20.
"It was a humbling experience to see the hunger and desire for storytelling and a community experience in Libya. It worked really well and we were all thrilled with the response." Nathan Curry, GDIF Associate Director.