Naw Nader Men Al Houb

King Hussein Cancer Centre, Amman, Jordan

November-December 2004

This production, compiled from transcripts of terminal cancer patients from the King Hussein Cancer Centre Hospital in Amman, Jordan by Takween director Samar Dudin, was Grid Iron’s first major project in the Middle East, following a week of successful workshops in Beirut on site work at the old Estral cinema in Beirut. Naw Nader Men Al Houb (A Rare Kind of Love) was co-directed by Samar Dudin and Ben Harrison, backed by Grid Iron’s core technical team, a workshop production on location at the hospital that was the first ever site-responsive promenade production in Jordan. The production was supported by British Council (Jordan).

The response from public and press was enormous and the piece was attended and presented under the patronage of Princess Ghida Talal from the Jordanian royal family. In ten days the company of Jordanian actors, technicians and designers worked to create a piece that was far more than a mere “work-in-progress”, reaching an extraordinary conclusion when the central character, announcing that she was letting her lover go, took off her hijab to reveal her shaved head. The piece was staged in the temporarily empty corridors, wards, library and waiting rooms of the hospital, to be occupied again in the morning by the patients whose lives and struggle echoed in the text of the play itself. The production was probably Grid Iron’s most “site-specific” to date.