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Egyptian playwright participates in London theatre festival

Laila Soliman takes part in the London International Festival of Theatre's After A War programme, which brings together 20 international artists to review the ramifications of World War I

Ahram Online, Monday 16 Jun 2014
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"Winds of Freedom" rehearsals. (Photo: courtesy of the director)
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Egyptian playwright Laila Soliman's Winds of Freedom will debut in Cairo's Makan from 20 to 22 June, before its international premier at the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), which runs this year from 27 to 29 June at the Battersea Arts Centre.

LIFT was established in 1981 with the intention of bringing global stories to the UK capital.

This year, as the festival celebrates its 20th anniversary, its artistic director Mark Ball reflects on its "unchanging" key values, and says, "We work with artists who have radical imaginations and an extraordinary way of looking at the world, through whose eyes we can see things differently."

LIFT's After A War programme, which runs from 27 to 29 June, brings a group of 25 international artists together, each exploring the various ramifications of the first world war.

These artists will "take over the entire building with their moving, surprising, sometimes witty and often and startling responses to the First World War and what happened next," according to LIFT's official website.

Laila Soliman was one of the artists commissioned by the British Council to produce a work, titled Winds of Freedom for this programme.

"World War One left Egyptians drained, defiant and on the brink of the 1919 revolution," reads the British Council press release. "One hundred years later Soliman's Winds of Freedom examines the songs and play-scripts of the time to piece together a past that echoes strongly with the present."

Soliman is an independent theatre director and playwright, based in Cairo. She graduated with a degree in Theatre and Arab Literature from the American University in Cairo in 2004.


Programme:
Friday 20 June, Saturday 21 June, and Sunday 22 June, at 8pm.
1 Saad Zaghloul Street, opposite of Saad Zaghloul's tomb, Downtown Cairo

After A War will take place from 27 to 29 June.
Battersea Arts Centre
Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN, United Kingdom

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