The Shroud Maker
Written and directed by Ahmed Masoud | Performed by Julia Tarnoky | Designed by Dima Karout
Hajja Souad, an 80-year old Palestinian woman living on the besieged Gaza Strip, knows about business. She has survived decades of wars and oppression through making shrouds for the dead. A compelling black comedy, The Shroud Maker delves deep into the intimate life of ordinary Palestinians to weave a highly distinctive path through Palestine’s turbulent past and present.
Loosely based on a real life character still living in Gaza, this one-woman comedy weaves comic fantasy and satire with true stories told first hand to the writer, and offers a vivid portrait of Palestinian life in Gaza underscored with gallows humour.
Ahmed Masoud is a writer, director and academic based in the UK and author of Vanished: The Mysterious Disappearance of Mustafa Ouda. His plays include Camouflage (London, May 2017), Walaa/Loyalty (London, June & November 2014), Unto the Breach (London, November 2012 & Vienna, November 2013) and Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea (London, 2009 & Edinburgh Fringe, August 2009). His radio piece Escape from Gaza was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2011.
Julia Tarnoky’s range of roles include Sylvia Plath in Sylvia directed by Ralph Fiennes, Helen in Corryvreckan (for which she won the LFA Best Actress Award), extensive credits with Howard Barker and The Wrestling School, Deborah in A Kind Of Alaska, Ruth Holderness in Bridlington, and Tyu in Reema Sengupta’s Tyu’s Company an award-winning short selected for 9 international film festivals.
“The mixture of comical yet painful words bring a unique balance of heartache and laughter to the dark satire of Masoud’s script, and the audience is left with tears in their eyes even as they try to laugh at Souad’s attitude” Middle East Monitor
“While the context of the performance adds an extra layer of tragedy, Masoud’s gallows humour is more than welcome” Ceasefire Magazine
“Pangs of pain and heartache accompany the dark satire of Masoud’s script, and the audience are left with tears in their eyes even as they try to laugh grimly to Hajja’s no-nonsense attitude. The final scene is met with a standing ovation, claps filling the studio which moments before trembled with anguish and heartbreak.” The New Arab