TALES OF A CITY BY THE SEA is a love story set in the besieged Gaza strip. Following a sold-out premiere season in Melbourne in 2014, and in response to audience demands for the show to return, we are now remounting the play in Melbourne in 2016 and we are taking it to Adelaide and Sydney.
Our creatives come from diverse backgrounds including Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Malta, Malaysia, Thailand, Italy, Bengal, India, Chile and the UK. We have people of various faiths including the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths.
“This gripping play is an act of resistance that implores its audience to take heed.” The Age
“Searing stuff…Samah Sabawi’s play Tales of a City by the Sea is a brave work…. not only reflecting but also possibly affecting our view of this seemingly intractable conflict…The drama is played out well, and in the lead roles Osamah Sami (Rami) and Helana Sawires (Jomana) ..are both clearly deeply invested in the work.”
Peter Burdon – The Advertiser
“Sabawi has created an enthralling landscape and peopled it with believable characters. It looks beyond the political to examine the effect of war on those who cannot leave the battleground. It’s a gripping piece of theatre that begs to be seen and heard. “
Tony Busch – Adelaide Theatre Guide
“The profound grace of this production lies in the honest and forthright manner of Sabawi’s writing…. Added to that is Lara Week’s very simple and beautifully utilised set…alongside Shane Grant’s simple, polished lighting design and Khaled Sabsabi’s superbly crafted realist sound design. Sabawi’s play is an astutely balanced, modern appraisal of what it means to live as a Palestinian under siege.”
David O’Brien – Barefoot Review
“Samah Sabawi’s script is an eye-opening look at the daily drama of life and love in a war Zone where random missiles end lives. With music, poetry, harsh reality and hope, the excellent ensemble presents the Palestinian perspective and shows that life does, and must, go on.” 4 STARS
– Matt Byrne – Sunday Mail
“Tales of a City by the Sea is a perceptive story that magnificently captures the drama of star-crossed lovers in the besieged Gaza strip…. a strong multi-cultural ensemble and superb lead performances…. fine theatre well worth watching.”
Stephen Davenport – Indaily
“Despite the pain and despair that is palpably conveyed by this story, the bravery and humour of these ordinary people carries an overriding message of hope that reassures us of one thing – the resilience of the human spirit….the play is now on the Victorian Certificate of Education syllabus.”
Julia Wakefield – Weekend Notes
Tales of a City by the Sea is the story of two people who meet and fall in love in the besieged Gaza strip, woven together from the actual experiences of people living under occupation.
Jomana, a Palestinian woman living in a Gaza refugee camp, falls in love with Rami, an American-born Palestinian doctor and activist who has just arrived on one of the first Free Gaza boats in 2008. Their love is met with relentless string of challenges. Ultimately, Rami must decide between returning to his comfortable life in Texas and staying in Palestine with Jomana. Choosing to stay means leaving his family and career behind for a life ravaged by war, while leaving means not only losing Jomana but also ignoring the plight of the Palestinians.
The play premiered in November 2014, with simultaneous productions at La Mama Theatre in Melbourne and the AlRowwad Cultural and Theatre Society, in Aida Refugee Camp in Palestine. La Mama saw a sold out season and both productions received passionate responses from audiences and critics alike. Hundreds posted on social media, encouraging their friends to see it and asking for remounts in other places.
2016 MELBOURNE ADELAIDE AND SYDENY PERFORMANCES
Starting in May 2016, we will to take Tales of a City by the Sea on tour!
Beginning with a three-week season at La Mama in Melbourne (where the production has been selected for the Victorian Drama Studies syllabus!), Tales of a City by the Sea will go on to play at the Bakehouse Theatre in Adelaide and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in NSW. We have three great venues and huge community support in each city.
For information on venues, dates and tickets, click here.