The Climbing Vine
Sensitively positioned in Chelsea Physic Garden, Act II: The Climbing Vine consists of three sculptural interventions by Rand Abdul Jabbar set in dialogue with a specially written text and performance by Entissar Hajali, one of the original Memories of Home workshop members. The performance explores the sensory and emotional qualities of the Garden and creates focal points for contemplation and reflection. Visit the installation at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London from 25 June–19 July 2021.
On select days Entissar Hajali leads audiences through a performance walk, reciting her specially written personal text The Climbing Vine. Devised with directors Chrystèle Khodr and Lara Sawalha, the performance explores the sensory and emotional qualities of the garden.
Written and performed by
Entissar Hajali was born in Sweida and grew up in Salkhad, Syria. She studied Arabic at the University of Baghdad and was an Arabic teacher for fifteen years in Sweida and the UAE. During her time in the UAE, she discovered playwriting and won national competitions. On April 2nd, 2017, Entissar moved to the UK. She is currently a student at Southall College and a key member of Scheherazade Initiatives where she uses drama as a tool to learn English. During her time with the group, she has co-written and performed in three short plays reflecting on personal experiences of migration. In the Summer of 2019, Entissar featured in Hela Ammar’s Becoming for Shubbak Festival. Over the past year, she has been a key member of Rand Abdul Jabbar’s Memories from Home workshop series. This is her first solo performance.
Chrystèle Khodr is a theatre performer, writer and director. Her work springs from the emergency to reconstitute a collective memory from personal stories. She created “Bayt Byout”, “2007 or how I smashed my bubble envelopes” and “Beirut Sepia”. In the framework of her collaboration with Zoukak, she has performed in the company’s devised productions: “Death comes through the eyes”, “He who saw everything” and “The Battle Scene”. In 2016 she starts a collaboration with theater director Waël Ali with whom she created “Titre Provisoire” and the installation “I once entered a garden” alongside set designer and installation artist Bissane Al Charif. Her latest production "Augurs" premiered in May 2021 in Beirut.
Lara Sawalha is a British/Jordanian actor, graduating from Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts She recently appeared as a semi series regular in Doctors and as a guest star in Casualty both for the BBC. Prior to this she performed in Why It’s Kicking off Everywhere at The Young Vic Theatre which was aired as part of theatre live for BBC2. Some of her other theatre credits include, Oil at the Almeida Theatre; Another World at The National Theatre; Semites at the Bunker Theatre and Nahda at the Bush Theatre. Lara has voiced multiple radio dramas, video games and audiobooks. Some of her notable credits include: Cyberpunk 2077; A Tale of Two Cities, Lullaby and Girls of Riyadh.
Produced by Shubbak Festival
Research by Mona Al-Jadir
Translation by Julia Choucair Vizoso
Audio by Hydar Dewachi
Photography by Youcef Hadjazi
Sculptures manufactured by Ratio Workshop
Production Management by Sugar For My Soul
Also part of this series is Act III: The Garden Scene.