A powerful story of loss and love

LINES drawn through history from Palestine to Uganda create a powerful story of loss and love in this co-production between Sheffield Theatres, Roots Mbili and Remote Theater Project.
John Rwothomack and Fidaa Zidan in Lines. Photo by Smart BandaJohn Rwothomack and Fidaa Zidan in Lines. Photo by Smart Banda
John Rwothomack and Fidaa Zidan in Lines. Photo by Smart Banda

The production sees John Rwothomack and Fidaa Zidan explore the prison systems at five different points in the two nation’s histories.

Born in Uganda, Rwothomack returns to the theatre after a stunning one-man play called Far Out - a harrowing work about young people trapped into fighting as a boy soldier.

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Zidan is from Palestine and was also subject of a play about life under Israeli occupation.

The play was written by Rwothomack, Zidan, Alexandra Aron and Junaid Sarieddeen, with additional writing from Asiimwe Deborah Kawe.

This play-within-a-play conjures up several characters as it scrutinises racism, power and colonialism under the British Empire.

Prisons are a British thing, it seems.

And who knew Uganda was once earmarked as the new Israeli nation?

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Lots of dark but plenty of light and nicely done humour along the way, with the pair gently playing off each other to great effect.

Kevin Jenkins’ brilliant set design allows for different locations and types of prison cell.

Lee Affen’s sound and music adds to the heightening emotions throughout.

Rwothomack and Zidan are compelling with terrific rapport.

The moments of them not playing characters provides an outlet for the audience to take stock.

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Lines tells stories we don't often hear about – bleak, moving and challenging.

But adding to our knowledge about the real bloody history of empire only enriches understanding of the world and the reasons why anyone of us could have endured the same suffering.