It is 1948 in the slums of Bagdad. A Jewish Mother, Um-Kamal, finds her two sons arrested by the feared and loathed Secret Police. Inexplicably, the younger brother, Sasson, gets imprisoned, while Kamal, the older, is set free.
Rumour and intrigue ensue, and Um-Kamal is reluctantly drawn into the orbit of the Communist Party, risking all to save her teenage son and hold her fragmenting family together. Decades later, conflicting family histories and narratives emerge, as the troubled Kamal finally faces a reckoning with the truth of what really happened following that night in the cells in Baghdad – and its impact on the family across time and space.
This year, the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, writer and director Dina Ibrahim (alumni of the Kiln Theatre New Writers programme) dynamically brings this powerful, poignant, warmly humorous piece of Middle Eastern family history to life. With music specially composed by renowned award-winning composer Eddie McGuire, it blends traditional narrative drama with elements drawn from classical, physical and ensemble theatre. “Fascinating and insightful” Emile Cohen, Chronicler of the history of Jews in 20th Century Iraq