"I'd always placed Palestine and the Middle East conflict in the too hard basket" writes Eva Di Cesare in her insightful director's note for Monkey Baa Theatre Company's production of Where the Streets Had a Name. Thanks to this bold adaptation of Randel Abdel-Fattah's novel of the same name, some light is shed on the very human stories that are caught up in the struggles between Israel and Palestine and the wider Middle East.
Thirteen-year-old Palestinian, Hayaat (Aanisa Vylet) and her family were removed from their home in Jerusalem when the Israeli occupation commenced. Hyaat has been left emotionally and physically scarred from the conflict, her mother doesn't really want to talk about the past and she finds refuge talking to her grandmother about memories of home. When Hyaat's grandmother falls ill, she takes it upon herself to try to cross back into Israeli occupied territory with her friend Samy (Mansoor Noor) to try and fill a jar with home soil so that her grandmother can once again feel Jerusalem on her skin. The journey is long and perilous and the pluck demonstrated by this 13-year-old girl is impressive.