The world premiere of a new play based entirely on verbatim reports from inside Syria
"The most dangerous thing you can do in this country is speak the word freedom"
The Fear of Breathing, the world premiere of a new play based entirely on verbatim reports from inside Syria itself, opens at the Finborough Theatre for a limited four-week season from Tuesday, 17 July 2012.
As thousands have been tortured, jailed, maimed or killed by the Syrian regime, The Fear of Breathing is a hard-hitting evocation of a life or death fight for freedom, experienced from the inside.
To uncover these personal stories from the uprising, award-winning journalists Paul Wood of the BBC and Ruth Sherlock of The Daily Telegraph, together with theatre director Zoe Lafferty, travelled into Syria covertly, circumventing the ban on journalists and restrictions on movement for all non-Syrians. Immersed in Syria's suffocating environment of oppression and fear, they spoke to protesters facing tanks and guns, soldiers who deserted to form the Free Army, activists who dream of change, as well as citizens who love President Bashar al-Assad and are terrified of a future without him.
Featuring verbatim scenes, interviews, stories and film footage, The Fear of Breathing is a powerful and profoundly disturbing portrait of a revolution struggling to survive.
Writer/Journalist Ruth Sherlock has just been named ‘Young Journalist of the Year’ in the 2012 British Press Awards. The judges praised her "astonishing collection of work" during the Arab Spring, showing "skill as well as courage" to produce a series of "harrowing" accounts. She has spent most of the past year living with fighters on the frontlines in Libya and more recently has been working undercover in Syria. She reported on Egypt, Libya and Syria for The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Scotsman, The Los Angeles Times and Al Jazeera. She has been nominated for the prestigious Gaby Rado Memorial Award, given by Amnesty International for outstanding coverage of human rights.
Writer/Journalist Paul Wood has covered a dozen wars in fifteen years as a BBC foreign correspondent. He was in Baghdad for the invasion of Iraq and in Fallujah during the battle for the city. In Iraq, he and his team filmed from inside a crowd hit by multiple suicide bombs, for which he won a Golden Nymph at the Monte Carlo Television Festival and the Bayeux Award for War Correspondents. He travelled behind Serbian lines with Kosovar guerrillas in the 1999 NATO bombing and has also reported on conflicts in Bosnia, Macedonia, Chechnya, Darfur, the Palestinian territories, Afghanistan and Libya. During the Syrian uprising, he was three times smuggled across the border and into the city of Homs and produced Homs – Journey into Hell for BBC’s Panorama. For the theatre, he co-wrote Off Record with Zoe Lafferty.
Writer/Director Zoe Lafferty has worked as a director, assistant director and playwright for theatre in Afghanistan, the UK, New York, Palestine and Europe, and is an Associate Director of the Freedom Theatre Palestine. Trained at Drama Centre, London, and the Vaktangov Theatre School, Moscow. Theatre includes the world premiere of Bola Agbaje’s Concrete Jungle (Riverside Studios and Tobacco Factory), Gaza: Breathing Space (Soho Theatre), Sho Khman? (Freedom Theatre Palestine and International Tour), Alice in Wonderland (Freedom Theatre Palestine), Adult Child /Dead Child (Edinburgh Festival and Unicorn Theatre) and Not a Step Back (Cochrane Theatre). Assistant Direction includes The Dresser (Watford Palace Theatre), Waiting For Godot (Freedom Theatre Palestine and American Tour), Protozoa (The Red Room) and Oikos (The Red Room). She co-wrote Off Record with Paul Wood, a verbatim piece on the Israeli/Palestine conflict, performed at the Soho Theatre with Harriet Walter, Jennie Stoller, Hilton McRae and Madeline Appiah.
Filmmaker Fred Scott has filmed much of the world's armed conflicts from bases in Hong Kong, Delhi and Beijing over the past thirty years. He has won multiple awards from the Royal Television Society as well as a Prix Bayeux and a Peabody Award. He was awarded the Rory Peck Prize for filming an attack by US warplanes in Northern Iraq that left ten people dead and wounded many others including himself. More recently, he was smuggled across the Lebanese border and into Homs with Paul Wood.
Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Tuesday, 17 July – Saturday, 11 August 2012
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm. Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm. Saturday matinees at 3.00pm (from the second week of the run).
Prices for Weeks One and Two (17–29 July 2012) – Tickets £14, £10 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £10 all seats, and Saturday evenings £14 all seats. £6 tickets for under 30’s for performances from Tuesday to Sunday of the first week when booked online only. £11 tickets for residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on the first Saturday of the run only.
Prices for Weeks Three and Four (31 July–11 August 2012) – Tickets £16, £12 concessions, except Tuesday evenings £12 all seats, and Saturday evenings £16 all seats.
For more information visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk