In 2017, comedians Mark Thomas and Sam Beale worked with The Freedom Theatre and introduced stand-up comedy theatrical workshops which ended with the theatre’s first comedy show. As a result, graduates of The Freedom Theatre Acting School, Faisal Abu Alhayja and Alaa Shehada were chosen to work with Mark on the his show Showtime from the Frontline, about the Jenin comedy club. The trio kicked off their UK tour of Showtime from the Frontline in February and the response has been phenomenal! In the words of Mark Fisher in The Guardian “It is a comedy show about a comedy show, one that demonstrates the radical power of giving a voice to the voiceless.” Mark Brown writes in The Telegraph “Combining performance with film of the club night in Jenin itself, this engaging, thought-provoking and extremely funny show breaks down common stereotypes and preconceptions one joke at a time.”
“We still don’t know the result,” says Shehada, “but what I hope we will do is break the stereotype of what ‘refugee’ means, what ‘Palestinian’ means, because every time you travel around, you go to America, to the UK, as an artist, suddenly there is a stereotype about who and what you are.”
Mark Says “We are hugely proud of both what was achieved in Jenin and of this show here, in the UK. We delight and celebrate the freedom of expression throughout the show and its challenging of oppression in any form be it social and familial expectations, the Palestinian Authority or the Israeli occupation. We believe we have created a joyous, uplifting and unique production that places the voices of young Palestinians centre stage.”
A huge congratulations to Mark, Faisal and Alaa on the UK tour – the collaboration with Mark Thomas has been a great success and we look forward to working together again soon! You can find a full list of reviews here.
More information on tour dates and tickets can be found here.