Presented by arrangement with Arts Projects Australia


By Amer Hlehel. Translated by Amir Nizar Zubai.

Direct from the Edinburgh and Adelaide Festivals comes a deeply moving and award-winning story from writer-performer Amer Hlehel.

21 Mar – 24 Mar

With this small pencil I will write the world...

Coming direct from the Edinburgh and Adelaide Festivals, we’re delighted to present the award-winning, lyrical and nuanced story of the life of acclaimed Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali (1931-2011).

In his powerfully moving and humorous verse, the celebrated writer documented hopeful survival after 50 years of loss – loss of his home, his lover, his friends and his shop in Saffuriyeh, Galilee. It is a story that parallels the experiences of a million and a half Palestinians who remained in their homeland after 1948.

Adapted from Adina Hoffman’s biography My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness and the poet’s own works, writer-performer Amer Hlehel has created a tour de force solo performance that skillfully interweaves Taha’s singular and exquisite poetry with his compelling life journey.

Performed in English (with a special one-off performance in Arabic), Taha powerfully communicates the sorrow, humour, resilience and tender humanity of an extraordinary man and artist. It is a delight for the mind, and nourishment for the heart.

Recommended for ages 12+. Contains adult themes.

Special performance - Taha (performed in Arabic) - Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Sunday 25 March, 5pm


“Rich, vivid… acutely moving. Simply beautiful” - The Times (UK)

“An inspiring piece, delicate, deeply affecting. Warmly recommended” – The Independent (UK)

“Pure poetry blossoms in deceptively simple show” - The Evening Standard (UK)

“A simple but well-crafted biographical portrait of an ordinary man who made himself into something more” - British Theatre Guide

Free Talking Point
Taha - Merrigong Talking Point
Saturday 24 March, 15 mins after the matinee ends.


Taha (performed in English) - Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Tuesday 20 March, 8pm
Taha (performed in English) - Riverside Parramatta - Tuesday 27 March, 8pm
Taha (performed in Arabic) - Riverside Parramatta - Wednesday 28 March, 8pm

Photo by Saheer Oubaid

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Venue Information

Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Bruce Gordon Theatre


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Cast & Creative Team

Amir Nizar Zubai

Ashraf Hanna

Lighting Designer
Muaz Jubeh

Composer & Sound Designer
Habib Shehadeh Hanna

Amer Hledel


Premium: $59
Adult: $49
Pens/Group 8+: $44
Under 30s: $29
Family of 4: $116 (Max 2 Adults)
School Groups 8+: $23

A per transaction fee of $6.95 applies for phone and online bookings.

Performance Times
General Public:
Wed 21 Mar, 7.30
Thu 22 Mar, 6.30pm
Fri 23 Mar, 7.30pm
Sat 24 Mar, 1.30pm
Sat 24 Mar, 7.30pm

Post Show Q&A:
Thu 22 Mar, 6.30pm

Merrigong Talking Point:
Sat 24 Mar, 15 mins after the matinee ends

Tactile Tour:
Sat 24 Mar, 12pm

Audio Description:
Sat 24 Mar, 1.30pm

Running Time
Approx. 1hr 5 mins (no interval)

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