Plays by Hannah Khalil

A Museum in Baghdad

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

This is about my responsibility. Doing what is right. Being where I'm needed. I've started a job and I must finish it. I owe it to the people of Iraq.

In 1926, the nation of Iraq is in its infancy, and British archaeologist Gertrude Bell is founding a museum in Baghdad. In 2006, Ghalia Hussein is attempting to reopen the museum after looting during the war.

Decades apart, these two women share the same goals: to create a fresh sense of unity and nationhood, to make the world anew through the museum and its treasures. But in such unstable times, questions remain. Who is the museum for? Whose culture are we preserving? And why does it matter when people are dying?

A story of treasured history, desperate choices and the remarkable Gertrude Bell.

The Scar Test  

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

I haven't hurt anyone, killed, raped, murdered - I just ran away - came here to be safe. But I'm locked up. I just - I can't believe this is England.

They have run away from unimaginable horrors looking only for safety. But, imprisoned together at Yarl's Wood Dentention Centre, these women are stuck in a limbo that offers them exactly the opposite.

Based on verbatim interviews from current and former detainees, The Scar Test takes you inside one of England's migrant detention centres, exposing the conditions the inmates must endure whilst awaiting a decision on their fate. Told with compassion, Hannah Khalil's play throws a spotlight on the harrowing ordeals of the female migrants seeking refuge in Britain and the obstacles they face in the process.

Published to coincide with its 2017 London and regional tour, The Scar Test originally debuted in 2015 with Untold Arts company. 

Scenes from 68* Years

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A picnic interrupted by soldiers. Never-ending queues. Sunbathing in the shadow of a tank. How do people manage when every day is a struggle?

Scenes from 68* Years is an epic snapshot of life in Palestine, then and now. Palestinian-Irish playwright Hannah Khalil draws on stories from family’s and friends’ lives to paint this alternative picture – one rarely glimpsed in mainstream media and told with typical Palestinian black humour. Forget suicide belts and crying mothers – here the real human story is revealed: the dreams, comedy, sadness and frustrations of daily life in the shadow of the ‘separation wall’.

Scenes From 68* Years received its world premiere at the Arcola Theatre on 6 April 2016 in a production by Sandpit Arts.

An award-wining writer, Hannah Khalil had her first short play, Ring, selected for the Soho Theatre's Westminster Prize and her first full- length piece, Leaving Home, staged at the King's Head, London. A commission for Rose Bruford at Battersea Arts Centre followed, and she subsequently received support from The Peggy Ramsay Foundation to write Stolen Or Strayed, which received a Special Commendation in the Verity Bargate Award. Further work includes Plan D (published by TCG in their volume Inside/Outside Six plays from Palestine and the Diaspora), which was produced at Tristan Bates Theatre, London, and was nominated for the Meyer Whitworth Award. She has worked with the National Theatre Studio, Royal Court Young Writers' Programme and Tinderbox Theatre, Belfast. Most recently, her play Bitterenders won Sandpit Arts' Bulbul 2013 competition and was produced at Z Space, San Francisco, as part of Golden Thread's ReOrient Festival, and was published by . Her monologue The Worst Cook in the West Bank was performed as part of an evening of short plays about Arab women in the Arab Spring at the Old Red Lion and the Unity Theatre as part of the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival. The Scar Test was commissioned by Untold Arts and was performed in a scratch performances at the Arcola Theatre in June 2015 and is going on tour in the UK in June 2017.