Trouf: Scenes From 75 Years

The play remembering the Nakba, debuted at the Shubbak Festival, aimed to explore lesser-known aspects of life in Palestine and Tunisia.

Trouf: Scenes From 75 Years

The production consisted of fragments of daily life in Palestine, shared with playwright Khalil by family and friends of all ages. It featured a troupe of Tunisian actors speaking in Tunisian Derja vernacular Arabic, with closed caption equipment providing English translations.

The play starts not with drama or music but rather with the playwright telling the audience that two of the actors couldn’t be here today. Amina Dachraoui's visa application had been rejected, while another actor received visa approval just hours before the premiere. Ironically, this situation added value to the experience, as it mirrored the themes of oppression and freedom depicted in the play.

Despite the absence of the original actors, the play continued with new cast members, and the format was adjusted accordingly. One notable addition was a prerecorded video where the actor who was denied entry into the UK read a letter from the Home Office. This extra scene seamlessly fits into the narrative and enhanced the play's impact by highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by individuals today.

The show carried on. Craters being banged on the floor, a native dialect being spoken and a performance detailing snippets of life from various moments in time. It was interesting to hear and see the stories being played out from a son wanting to leave the country to study elsewhere, to another daughter not wanting to leave her country to women being harassed while being on a picnic. These moments revealed the truth to a variety of people’s history and the dialect makes it more authentic. 

One thing that may have hindered the play and speaking to another audience member, who found it funny actually, was that the captions were not fast enough to reflect what was being said. To native speakers, the dialogue sounds natural even if it sounds fast to others so the tech team had their work cut out for them to quickly get the closed captions to work! 

Overall, the play aimed to shed light on untold stories and remind audiences that the scenes depicted on stage continue to unfold in reality. Despite the obstacles faced during its production, the play managed to adapt and deliver a powerful performance.

Header Image Credit: Shubak Festival

Author

Ayah Khan

Ayah Khan Voice Reviewer

Ayah is a physical geography graduate, currently studying international journalism masters. Her main interest is environmental journalism but she wants to deep dive into lifestyle type content and enjoy the lightheartedness that comes with it, especially if said content could be focused on zombies. She spends her free time reading and writing. And can’t wait to explore different forms of content writing!

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