Currently playing at Theatre Passe Muraille’s Mainspace is Rubble by Suvendrini Lena. Featuring poetry by Khalaf Tuffaha and Mahmoud Darwish, Rubble is an eye-opening look at life in Gaza, their past and present, defined by sieges and wars, and their hope for the future. With stellar performers and incredible design, Rubble is a phenomenal piece of theatre you absolutely need to see.

Rubble’s set design, by Trevor Schwellnus, acts as both location and canvas; the high walls full of holes showing us that we are in an ancient city, but also providing a place for the projected poetry to be shown. That poetry initially builds up higher and higher after each line is projected and then tumbles down after it’s been spoken. It seems as if these words are going to crush the people on stage as it builds up. But then it changes as the poetry changes, later becoming a palimpsest; one line being projected over a faded projection of the one before. Both of these techniques give a sense of permanence, of remembrance; the words never truly leave once they are spoken, they pile up or don’t totally erase so that we know they’re always there, just as the sieges build up for the people of Gaza and they leave their everlasting marks.

Rubble is told by five amazing storytellers. Roula Said is the poet; her singing and beautiful poetry help guide the audience through the story. The Poet asks us to be a witness, and not a spectator, to this story, and audiences should absolutely heed that call. Said’s command of the stage is mesmerizing; I couldn’t take my eyes off of her whenever she was on stage. Lara Arabian and Sam Khalilieh are Leila and Majid, an archeologist and an engineer in Gaza. Their performances exude the strength and resolve of their characters. Their children Mo and Noora are played by Yousef Kadoura and Parma Heravi. They are absolutely fantastic and are the centre of hope in the play. It’s incredible watching them all go through so many normal family issues amongst the stress and fear of the siege. This truly ensemble cast deliverers moving, heartfelt performances which bring real life to the poetry they’re often speaking.

Rubble is a clear reminder that just because we stop hearing about an issue on the news doesn’t mean that it’s over; it is a very current danger for thousands of people every day. This is must-see theatre at its finest! For more information, visit:


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