Soho Theatre and Shubbak Festival present the UK debut of blind Palestinian performer Sharihan Hadweh in an exciting double bill with her director, the acclaimed stand-up and actress Manal Awad.
Sharihan Hadweh, a blind Palestinian performer, makes her UK debut with her first show titled, No Cheri, following a successful tour of Palestine, playing to over 4000 people. Performed in Arabic with English subtitles Hadweh’s unique style of comedy revolves around the absurdities she encounters while navigating Palestinian society as a blind person. Although tackling such a subject may not seem like typical comedic material, The Guardian noted: ‘Paired with a sardonic, almost cynical delivery, Hadweh’s comedy has bite: righteous anger simmers beneath every bit, fuelling her act with a compelling power.’
Stand-up comedy is still a relatively new and evolving form of entertainment in Palestine. Given this context, Hadweh did not have a straightforward path into stand-up comedy. She initially began her performing career five years ago with Bethlehem’s Al-Harah Theater. For Hadweh, comedy serves as a fresh and innovative way to engage the public, shedding light on the challenges faced by disabled individuals and promoting the normalization of their presence in public life.
Writer and director Manal Awad presents Mia Chara (All is fine) which finds comedy in the immense mental and artistic exertion required on a daily basis to make it as a female comedian in a male-dominated profession. For Manal, it can be as gruelling as tidying up the kitchen after your partner prepares dinner.
Manal Awad is a hugely acclaimed actress who works across theatre, television and film in Palestine: as a stand-up, she has performed around the world. Manal’s numerous film credits include ‘Salon Huda’, with the Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad, ‘Gaza Mon Amour’ and ‘Dégradé’ directed by the Gaza-born twin brothers, Ahmad & Mohammed Abou Nasser (aka Tarzan and Arab). Manal is best known in the region for the satirical TV show ‘Watan A Watar’.