fbpx Skip to main content
| Niamh Hicks

BPT launches new project with people with heritage from Arabic-speaking countries

We’re creating a new show that emerges from the stories and creative aspirations of people with heritage from Arabic-speaking countries.

لقراءة هذه المدونة باللغة العربية ، يرجى النقر فوق الزر أدناه.
Download PDF

Left to right: Suhayla El-Bushra (Writer), Ayman Abdel-Basit, Myriam Abdel-Basit, Maya Rezk, Naji Khawaga, Tanushka Marah (Director), Amal Cashin, Mekki Abdel-Basit and Asia Yagoob

We decided to do this because we cross-referenced the data we have on our members with the census data for Brighton and Hove.

We discovered that Arabic is the second most commonly spoken language in the area and yet the stories and lived experiences held by its speakers are often unknown to the wider community. 

We want to change that.

About our process

Earlier this year we launched our new business plan, which shapes the way we work for every show. Our mission is to bring people in Brighton together. We do this in 3 ways:

  • In a Conversation; we learn what’s important to people by listening to their stories
  • In a workshop; we provide space and training for people to explore these stories and realise their creative aspirations
  • In a show; we make ambitious work in which performers and audiences feel part of something bigger than themselves

The first step in our process was to identify a theme we want to focus our conversations on. In May 2023 we brought together people from the local community with heritage from Arabic-speaking countries to chat about what’s important to them.

We had a brilliant and inspiring conversation and the decision was unanimous; the theme people were most drawn to and wanted to explore is Special Occasions. Think weddings, Eid, Easter, birthdays and funerals.

Our next step is to have at least 20 conversations about Special Occasions with people with heritage from Arabic-speaking countries living across the City. These conversations will inspire the making of our new show.

About the artists we’re working with

We’re working with two outstanding local artists to lead the development of the show. Suhayla El-Bushra will write the show and Tanushka Marah will direct it. Both artists will lead the conversations. Naomi Alexander, CEO of Brighton People’s Theatre will produce it. 

Left to right: Tanushka Marah (Director), Suhalya El-Bushra (Writer) and Naomi Alexander (Producer)

We’re thrilled to have received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver the ‘In a Conversation’ part of our show development process. Once the conversations are complete we will seek funding for the next stage of the development of the show: theatre workshops to explore stories and ideas that have arisen in conversations. We hope to have secured funding so that they can start in the autumn – stay tuned!

How you can get involved

If your heritage is from an Arabic-speaking country and you are interested in the project, there are three different ways for you to get involved. 

  • Arrange a 1:1 meeting with one of the artists
  • The artists can visit your community group
  • Join the artists for a private meal at a local restaurant

Get in touch to register your interest at [email protected]
or call/WhatsApp/text 07503 430188.

Thanks to National Lottery players.