Lebanese-Australian story Lady Tabouli makes world premiere at Sydney Festival 2020

Lady Tabouli Sydney Festival

Lebanese-Australian story Lady Tabouli makes world premiere at Sydney Festival 2020

Making its world premiere at Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta, Lady Tabouli tells the story of Lebanese-Australian Danny and his search for acceptance from his conservative family.

Directed by Dino Dimitriadis for True West, an independent theatre celebrating voices and stories from Sydney’s west, this play is set to bring  modern day culture clash to audiences from across Sydney – an experience that is not so unknown to many across the country.

CulturalPulse spoke to to playwright James Elazzi to learn how he and the team brought his vision of Lady Tabouli to life on stage. Check out the Q&A below!

Lady Tabouli Sydney FestivalHow did the concept for this show come about? Is it based on a true story?
The concept is derived from the world around me, my personal experience and what I think is important in terms of telling stories. I think it’s essential that I voice stories that have always been on the outskirts of society, stories that we deal with every day but are never represented on stage.

Why do you think this story will resonate with Sydney audiences?
I think Lady Tabouli is incredibly unique in its storyline, but also, I believe, essential to tell. Lady Tabouli is personal but also universal, in the sense that we all have families: we all need to belong and we all live in communities. It’s about social structures, and why things are the way they are.

How has the Lebanese-Australian culture been integrated into this play?
It’s heavily embedded in the narrative because that is where I derive from. My cultural background has been a dominant force in my choices, and my perspective of the world. But my natural instinct is to explore my culture, to interrogate the social fabric of my upbringing and trying to make sense of it all.

Why do you think it’s important to perform this show in Parramatta?
Parramatta is a great place to have the first staging of Lady Tabouli, because the community that I have embedded in the narrative mostly derives from Western Sydney. It’s important for the Lebanese community to see themselves reflected on the stage, but it isn’t just that community. It’s every community, it’s every suburb and every family, that I have written about. The National Theatre of Parramatta is, I believe, courageous with their vision and their support in telling stories that have not been on stages before. They have also supported my writing from day one and I truly believe they are the theatre of the future.

How has Director Dino Dimitriadis added his own touch to this play?
Dino is such a force. He interrogates the script, understands exactly what I am trying to say and then allows it to come to life. He is powerful in his vision and never waivers throughout the whole process. I’m in awe of his talent and dedication.

Lady Tabouli Sydney Festival

Lady Tabouli: Sydney Festival 2020
WHEN: January 11-18, 2020
WHERE: Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta
COST: $44-$59 + BF

For more information about Lady Tabouli, click HERE

Anisha Mistry

As the Editor of CulturalPulse, Anisha is passionate about listening to, writing and sharing stories of Australia's multicultural achievement. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]