The three-play shortlist for the James Tait Black Prize for Drama has been announced, selected from more than 180 entries:
Scenes from 68* Years, by Palestinian-Irish playwright Khalil, premiered at the Arcola Theatre in April 2016. According to What’s on Stage, “Jumping back and forth in time between 1948 (the foundation of the state of Israel), to the present day and various points in between, Scenes from 68* Years tells a collection of stories of daily life under occupation in Palestine.”
A picnic interrupted by soldiers. Sunbathing in the shadow of a tank. Life can be unpredictable under occupation. Told with typical Palestinian black humour, Scenes from 68* Years is an epic snapshot of life in Palestine, then and now. Palestinian-Irish playwright Hannah Khalil draws on stories from family and friends’ lives to paint this alternative picture – one rarely glimpsed in mainstream media. A cast of six actors in the UK – and one Skyping in daily from Palestine – will take you on a whistle-stop tour through space and time, from 1948 to the present day. Forget suicide belts and stone-hurling youths – here the real human story is revealed: the dreams, comedy, sadness and frustrations of daily life in the shadow of the ‘separation wall’.
The winner’s set to be announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh on August 21.