Another Lover's Discourse ليه خلّتني أحبك
BY: Riham Isaac
Another Lover’s Discourse ليه خلّتني أحبك is the first solo theatre show created and performed by Riham Isaac, one of Palestine’s most exciting contemporary artists. Encouraging a more open conversation about how we understand romantic relationships, this unique piece mashes up interviews with friends, family and strangers, combining video, music, performance and original film to explore the complexity of love and relationships.
3 years ago, Isaac embarked on a journey to explore what it means to love; what ideas do we have about it and what was holding her back from it? This inventive new multimedia performance and irreverent look at romance invites you to think differently about love; to shake off stereotypes, free yourself from old traditions and think about what you actually want. It will resonate with anyone who has ever wondered: is this really all there is?
"The whole idea for me was to do a personal investigation into the theme of love: to find out more, maybe to find answers. I wanted to express it in its complexity because love can be very complex, it can be very simple. Sharing your personal experience with the audience – it’s a healing process. A big part of my work was doing interviews, a kind of documentation where I was asking different people about love. I think one of the key moments in my performance is my interview with my mother, more of an intimate conversation that I wished I had when I was a kid. I do believe that revolution doesn’t happen just by going out in the street; I think revolution starts from within." Riham Isaac
The Performance PREMIERED 21st/22nd Oct 22 at Belfast International Arts Festival (BIAF), who commissioned the work as part of their 2022 focus on artists from the Middle East and North Africa, Another Lover’s Discourse then performed at PalArt Festival at London’s Rich Mix. Partnering with Amnesty International UK.
NOW Isaac will be touring Feb 2023 taking the show to VAULTS Festival performing at The Studio from 7-11/2/2023. Then heading to Exeter Phoenix, Barbican Plymouth, NonSuch Nottingham, The REP Birmingham & Old Fire Station in Oxford.
Isaac’s practice is interdisciplinary in its artform, exploring both theatrical and cinematic genres. With video installations and integrated live performance – including striking video design by Welsh artist Simon Clode – audiences should expect to be intrigued, curious, and excited by the way Isaac communicates and tells stories. With live music composed by Palestinian musician and composer Faris Ishaq, Riham sings songs inspired by classical black and white Egyptian films.
By representing a non stereotypical and nuanced take on love, desire and romance as an Arab woman, she aims to challenge heteronormative gender roles and romantic relationships with humour, truth and empathy.
Writer, Director & Performer: RIHAM ISAAC
Video Artist: SIMON CLODE
Composer and Musician: FARIS ISHAQ
Lighting Designer & Technical Stage Manager: FIRAS ABU SABBAH
Set Designer: BASHAR HASSUNEH
Costume Designer: HIND HILAL & AYA ALTAWEEL
Produced by: RIHAM ISAAC & special thanks to COURTENAY JOHNSON
Tour Producers: RIHAM ISAAC & ENRASMOS RAMOS
"A wonderful work. Funny and touching and with some real surprises - not least the singing! Riham Isexplores the expectations of marriage and romance and the dreams that hover beyond them" Danny Boyle, Oscar-winning Director.
“I hugely enjoyed Another Lover’s Discourse - it’s an intelligent, funny, inventive account of the meaning of love that at once feels highly personal and very relatable.” Amber Massie Blomfield, Complicité
“It's a really striking piece of work, so playful in its use of different forms. I loved the video and its layered relationship with Riham's performance and the movement in the show.” Sam Pritchard, Royal Court
“Her multimedia performance piece was beautiful, channelling the coquettishness of Egyptian romantic cinema and combining it with her own playfulness to create a funny and light-hearted work. Her musings on love are optimistic and refreshing and are complemented by recordings from her friends and family.”
Hajar Medda @Zeetoona on Tik Tok
“It wasn’t what any of us expected and once I settled into Performance art mode I was increasingly intrigued by it! It was fascinating watching how the piece came together through various forms of media all created over time in different locations and all connected by aspects of love” Audience member
Isaac's theatrical work is entertaining, humorous and takes audiences on a journey. Her work raises awareness, encourages debate, and tackles issues of social injustice.
Aser Elsaqqa, Artistic Director AWAN Festival.
Commissioned by Belfast International Arts Festival, supported by British Council.With funding from the Palestinian Cultural Ministry and public funding through the National Lottery by Wales Arts International and Arts Council England. Supported by Alkasaba Theatre and Cinématique and Palestinian National Theatre. Special thanks to AWAN, Cultures of Resistance, Popular Art Centre, Laura Hemming Lowe & Amber Massie-Blomfield.