When I hear information describing extraordinary wars and conflicts read newspaper reports about how men and women who shared the same country yesterday are sworn enemies today, sometimes I think : How about me?
If war broke out how would I resist?
And first of all, would I resist?
What would I do to stay humane and keep barbarity at bay?
I consider what the youth of Daraya set up as exemplary. Their story is beautiful and incredible…
Philippe Léonard intermingles two stories in « Daraya » : his journey to a peaceful Syria in 1989 and that of the journalist Delphine Minoui which developed from correspondence conducted through Skype in 2015-2016 with the rebellious youth of the country at war. A hymn to individual liberty, to tolerance and to the power of literature.
Daraya is also available in Arabic surtitled version
Text Pierre Richards and Philippe Léonard
Based on The Book « Les passeurs de livres de Daraya » by Delphine Minoui
Éditions du Seuil
Cast Philippe Léonard
Scénography and costumes Catherine Somers
Music Philippe Morino – Juliette Richards
Stage manager Luc Jouniaux – Karl Autrique
Translation manager Nasra Ghiath
Voice-off Rania Ameen Ghanoun
Video Arnaud Van Hammée
Photos Philippe Jolet
Poster and illustations Jean-Claude Salémi
Thank you to La Roseraie – Cré-action asbl, Théâtre de Galafronie, Quai 41, the compagnie Point Zéro, Akté, Tétris (Le Havre), the SACD, Julie Gits, Marianne Hansé, Christine Cloarec, Dominique Guns, Naïma Ostrowsky.
With the support of the Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles.
Favorite of the press at the 2018 Rencontres de théâtre jeune public at Huy.
With deep sobriety “Daraya” releases a profound human warmth, giving a face and a soul to these erased beings made commonplace/trivial by the steamroller of real events. Disarmed on the empty stage the actor becomes a smuggler in his own right. He becomes the link between this distant tragedy and us. He becomes living proof that words are invincible and that books are stronger that hatred. “Daraya” is demanding and rings a change compared to shows about the radicalization of youth and other divisive plays that address Syria. Whats more it’s a passionate tool for any teacher wishing to tackle geopolitics differently.
C. Makereel – Le Soir
Moments of true emotion are quite rare at the theatre so as not to share them. That happened this afternoon at the ‘Rencontres de Huy’ with ‘Daraya’, the latest show by Philippe Leonard constructed with the complicity of Pierre Richards based on the book ‘The Book Smugglers of Daraya’ by Delphine Minoui (Le Seuil) as well as personal memories. Simple, beautiful, human, touching……and in the heart of current events.
Emile Lansman – FaceBook
An ambitious project incarnating young Syrians resistance.
… Leaving the theatre happy to have (re)learnt about this wonderful proof of resistance.
Laurence Bertels – La Libre Belgique
Sat 24th September 2022
La Roseraie, Bruxelles (B)
Thu 17th, Fri 18th November 2022
Centre de détention de Chateaudun (F), foyer d’accueil Chartrain, Chartres (F)