Liverpool Arab Arts Festival announce second wave of acts for festival this July

Posted on 22 June 2024
By Khyle Medany
  • Share:

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival – the longest running festival of Arab arts and culture – returns next month and provides a platform for Arab artists through theatre, visual art, performance, literature, music and more. It has added to its ten day programme in Liverpool with powerful conversations from artists in Palestine, a vital creative project exploring the character of Port Cities and a stunning new play by Hassan Abdulrazzak.


Just announced – the festival will include a ‘Palestinian Double-Header’ on Thursday 18th July at The Unity Theatre. The first event will feature Marina Barham – General Director of Al-Harah Theatre in Bethlehem, Palestine – who will bring the voice of Palestinian theatre and performing artists through the story of Al Sarah Theatre, and its work in the West Bank.

Marina will discuss the current situation in Palestine, as well as the importance of the festival and the crucial role that theatre plays in helping children, young people, and the community in overcoming trauma. The discussion will provide a valuable opportunity for Liverpool audiences to hear firsthand from a Palestinian activist.

Afterwards, the only performance of ORANGES & STONES outside of London will take to the Unity Stage. A play without words, the production is told solely through physical action and original music that conveys a moving image of occupation and settlement in Palestine, spanning over 75 years.

ORANGES & STONES is a symbolic play, in which the audience finds a woman living alone in her home. She is happy, tending tending to her orange orchards, until a dishevelled guest arrives at her door. She has no idea who he is, but offers him some water. He waves a piece of paper, and starts to unpack and move in…


Port Cities – a brand-new visual arts project in partnership with British Council MENA – will celebrate Liverpool’s unique identity; a city, with a global community and brimming with artistry, that looks outwards across the world. The world premiere of the exhibition will take place on Friday 12th July, with four internationally renowned Arab artists all exploring the social, historical and cultural links between Liverpool and the Arab region.

On Monday 15th July, The Port Cities Symposium will take place at The Bluecoat, for a day-long event of performances, talks and screenings led by the featured artists. The festival will also introduce ‘Slow Listening’ – an online audio project that will act as an invitation to stop and tune in to the sounds of the cities around us, available to access anywhere in the world.

Chambers of the Heart written by Hassan Abdulrazzak, directed by Sepy Baghaei and performed by Laila Alj, will explore the stories of three women, as they confront love, desire and memory in stories spanning from East to West.

And widely acknowledge as one of the hottest comedy nights amongst the Arab community and beyond, Arabs Are Not Funny will return to the festival for another hilarious night of laughter featuring comedians Prince Abdi, Fatiha El-Ghouri, Janine Harouini and Maria Shehata.

Hassan Abdulrazzak, Chambers of the Heart

Also returning to the festival will be The Ayoub Sisters – an award-winning instrumental duo who are set to present an evening of live music at the Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room, including songs from their acclaimed album Arabesque.
Liverpool Central Library will host two workshops on Saturday 13th July, with Hadi Badi Books returning for a storytelling workshop with arts and crafts for children aged 4 – 8.

Maria Shehata will also deliver a comedy workshop for those keen to try their hand at stand-up, with attendees learning how to develop a funny story, generate ideas, and make it their own.

Continuing the festival’s literary offerings, on Wednesday 17th July, London-born Edinburgh-based Scottish-Algerian poet, Janette Ayachi will read from her outstanding second collection Quick Fire, Slow Burning at the Bluecoat.

On Sunday, 14th July, the festival joins forces with At The Library for a special summer evening of Arab film at the Plaza Community Cinema in Waterloo, with films chosen by founder of The Arab Film Club, Sarah Agha, and women from The Colour of Pomegranates group. The next day, The Bluecoat will host a special fundraising screening of At Home in Gaza and London; an artistic collaboration between Gaza and London presenting a range of digital workshops as an alternative to the blockade.

Closing out the festival proceedings, The Family Day at Sefton Park’s Palm House will offer a celebratory showcase, hosting a free afternoon of music, performance, authentic Arab culture, food and drink – with something suitable for the whole family to enjoy!

Family Day 2023

With more festival events yet to be announced…

Port Cities exhibition
Friday 12th July – Saturday 20th July / 12pm – 4pm
Exhibition launch event: Friday 12th July / 1-4pm
Space Liverpool, 41 Stanhope Street, Liverpool, L8 5RE

Yalla Neحky – Hadi Badi Books workshop for children 4-8 years old
Saturday 13th July / 12pm – 1:30pm
Liverpool Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EW

Comedy Workshop with Maria Shehata
Saturday 13th July / 1-2:30pm
Liverpool Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EW

Arabs Are Not Funny
Saturday 13th July / 7:30pm
Unity Theatre, 1 Hope Place, Liverpool, L1 9BG
£15.00 / TICKETS

Arab Film Night: At The Library X LAAF
Sunday 14th July / 4 – 7pm
Plaza Community Cinema, 13 Crosby Road North, Waterloo, Liverpool, L22 0LD
£5 / TICKETS (Free for L20, L21, L22 postcodes)

Port Cities Symposium
Monday 15th July / 10am – 4pm
Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BX

Fundraising Screening: At Home in Gaza and London
Monday 15th July / 6-8pm
Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BX

Janette Ayachi: Exploring Heritage Through Poetry
Wednesday 17th July / 6pm – 7pm
Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BX
£8/£6 / TICKETS

Marina Barham: A Voice for Theatre and Culture in Palestine
Thursday 18th July / 6pm – 7pm
Unity Theatre, 1 Hope Place, Liverpool, L1 9BG

Thursday 18th July / 7:30pm
Unity Theatre, 1 Hope Place, Liverpool, L1 9BG

Chambers of the Heart: Hassan Abdulrazzak, Laila Alj & Sepy Baghaei
Friday 19th July and Saturday 20th July / 7:30pm
Unity Theatre, 1 Hope Place, Liverpool, L1 9BG
£15.00 / TICKETS

The Ayoub Sisters
Saturday 20th July / 8pm
Music Room, Liverpool Philharmonic, Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BP
£15.00 / TICKETS

Family Day
Sunday 21st July / 12pm – 5pm
Sefton Park Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool, L17 1AP