Beirut, Bint Jbeil, Glasgow
September 2007-June 2008
Bint Jbeil, in development since autumn 2006, reached the next stage when the NTS provided three weeks rehearsal and three work-in-progress showings at the Arches Theatre in Glasgow. The piece presents the lives of two survivors of a direct rocket attack on their house in Southern Lebanon, as they attempt to bury and then live with the rotting corpses of their two friends during the last 11 days of the 2006 war. The two dead ones exist as spirits who provide an ironic commentary on the attempts of the living to make sense of their situation. For Kholoud, all that matters is her ascent to heaven and a glorious martyrdom, however this is not possible if they are not buried properly and with the correct Shia rituals. However for Eddie, he is not at all sure that this heaven exists.
For Tarek and Rita, those left behind, the meaning of the corpses shifts as their house degenerates into a storm of flies and hellish, gut-wrenching stench. Eventually the survivors transcend their situation into a kind of liberating madness, where the corpses take on the character of the surrounding landscape and finally Tarek and Rita fight back against their aerial tormentors, like children in a war-game.