Big stage for lecturer’s play on Palestine conflict

Dr Naomi Foyle

Dr Naomi Foyle

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, second right, and Minister of State for Schools The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, centre, with representatives from Portchester Community School  and Henry Cort Community College

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A PLAY by a University of Chichester English lecturer has been selected to form part of a major event.

Dr Naomi Foyle’s The Strange Wife will take its place alongside works by famous writers including Ann Duffy, Billy Bragg and Jeanette Winterson, for the ‘66 Books’ festival to launch the Bush Theatre’s new building.

The verse drama – which means the speech rhymes like poetry – is set in contemporary Jerusalem and casts the Old Testament prophet Ezra as a 100-year-old Zionist Israeli confronted with the marriage of his grandson Yonatan to Mariam, a Palestinian activist.

Dr Foyle, pictured, said she wanted to write something that would introduce audiences to the narrative of the events of 1948 when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven out of their country.

She said: ‘I don’t think people really know about what happened in 1948, the history gets very obscured.

‘It is mostly viewed as the founding of Israel rather than the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, when 800,000 of them were driven off their land and there were massacres.’

Dr Foyle’s play will run on the evenings of October 10, 14, 19 and 28.

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