On February 10, Jinan opened to a full house at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Camp. The theatre, with a capacity of almost 200, saw a full-house for each of the eight shows it performed. The audience was overwhelmingly made up of children from schools in Jenin camp, as well as across Jenin city. In the words of Mays Assi who plays the title role “for me, playing the lead role with immense energy and humour, Jinan is a reflection of the people of Jenin Camp.”
It has been a tumultuous six weeks in Jenin Refugee Camp; with military invasions and clashes almost on a nighty basis throughout January, these events have served as the backdrop to rehearsals for Jinan. “This is my first time in Palestine and I didn’t really know anything, I just came here. It’s a very very tough environment here, especially for the children and Jinan couldn’t have arrived at a better time” Swedish director Lars-Eric Brossner said.
Each performance was packed to the brim and children from all over Jenin and neighbouring villages came out to see the show. For the first time in Palestinian history, the world famous Pippi Longstocking was bought to a stage in Palestine. “I thought it was a rather brilliant idea because [Swedish] Pippi doesn’t mean so much, but here, in the context, it’s suddenly got a new life,” Brossner said.
Our latest production blends messages of resistance and optimism as well as providing a dose of much needed joy and relief to local children. It also highlights the role of women in resistance and continues forward with our mission of resistance through art
At the end of the eight-show run, more than 1,300 people visited the theatre to see Jinan. We are currently exploring touring opportunities across the West Bank in the hope of sharing Pippi/Jinan with as many children in Palestine.
More information about the production can be found here.