The Beekeeper of Aleppo is based on Christy Lefteri’s novel of the same name. Whilst a work of fiction, Lefteri wrote it having experience time volunteering at a refugee centre, giving the book intensity and depth. Could this be replicated on stage? I went to watch this play at The Lowry to find out.
We meet beekeeper Nuri (Alfred Clay) and his wife Afra (Roxy Faridany) who have been left with not choice but to flee their home in war torn Aleppo. It is a sobering portrayal of their journey across the world to live in peace. The cast achieve a humanised take of the trauma and perils that those in this situation face, both physical and mental. The intricate plot, is thought provoking and will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.
Ruby Pugh’s set features several sand dunes on the stage, in front of a canvas covered house frame. Sunk into the sand are furniture and hatches which are used to denote different things throughout. This stylistic choice works impeccably well due to the number of locations throughout the two-hour show. Projections are used to excellent effect and are particularly sobering when real life images are shown.
The non-linear approach helps keep things interesting and engaging, with the audience questioning situations until they are made clear at the conclusion. This is not just a story about hope, but about the human condition as a whole. The topics covered are highly sensitive and whilst a difficult story to tell, it could have perhaps been more powerful and emotive in places. However, this is a solid piece of quality theatre which is not to be missed.
The Beekeeper of Aleppo remains at The Lowry until Saturday 22 April 2023, before continuing its UK tour. See below for booking information:
Note: My ticket was gifted. Irrespective of whether a show is gifted or bought, I always ensure that my reviews are fair and based on my honest opinion alone.