TRCH Priscilla

Gaza Monologues at New Art Exchange

11 June 11 words: Victoria Oldham
An intimate, brutal view into the lives of those affected so deeply by a war which, although officially over, continues to destroy lives
Gaza Monologues
Gaza Monologues

The final weekend of the Neat Festival brings The Gaza Monologues, inspired by the 2009 UNICEF initiative to get the young people in Gaza to discuss their aspirations, how the war had shaped their experiences and what they hoped for the future.

This resulted in the Gaza Monologues, where people all over the world perform the letters written by the young people in Gaza. In Nottingham, this was done by six performers from the Nottingham Playhouse and six from YARD at the New Art Exchange. 

Gaza Monologues cast - photo by Victoria Oldham
Gaza Monologues cast - photo by Victoria Oldham


It was, perhaps, one of the most stunning, touching, theatre experiences ever. These twelve young people portrayed the experiences of Gaza beautifully. Their powerful voices, their stage presence, their range, were all perfectly timed.

For the NEAT Festival, however, Ben Norris, 19, adapted the original Monologues to a Western culture, so the monologues are in snippets rather than long letter-type performances. It is a brilliant adaptation, directed by Sarah Stephenson and Rachael Young, and made all the more poignant in hard hitting, intense sections.

While there are moments of levity that keep the performance from being deeply distressing, there’s no question the Gaza Monologues are an intimate, brutal view into the lives of those affected so deeply by the war in Gaza, which, although officially over, continues to destroy lives. It’s an amazing reminder not to forget the people so tragically affected, killed, displaced.

It seems almost impossible to believe that in just one hour these twelve performers can create such a feeling of both distress and hope, of new ideas suffering under old oppressions. The constant refrain, that even the smallest dream is crushed in Gaza, rings through the audience repeatedly, causing chills and tears.

This is a powerful, meaningful piece of art, and shouldn’t be missed. By anyone. 

New Art Exchange website