Printable CopyTAHA
The Adelaide Festival
The Space
Until 18 Mar 2018

Review by Janice Bailey

Director Amir Nizar Zuabi and actor Amer Hlehel have combined their considerable talents to present one of the most beautiful and moving pieces of theatre I have seen in a long time. The story is a celebration of the life of one of Palestine’s greatest poets, presented as a story of hope and optimism. Taha survived the 1948 war in Palestine and died in 2011 at the age of 80.

At 17 Taha and his family were forced to leave their village during the Arab-Israeli war when the village was bombed. Eventually Taha returned to his homeland where he lived for the remainder of his life. Taha’s poetry is very personal and apolitical. It is sad, uplifting and beautiful. While other poets wrote about the political experience and the loss of their land and their lives during the war, Taha wrote about losing his personal life. His story was written to make people feel, not to seek revenge.

Amer Hlehel delivers a superb performance as Taha taking us through the gamut of emotions. This was a deeply moving performance from a gifted artist. An extended standing ovation was testament to Taha’s poetry and a flawless performance of deep understanding by Amer Hleleh.

‘With this small pencil I will write the word, I will write the world.’