Inspired by a true story, the sister of the Islamic leader Saleh Al-Din (Saladin) is kidnapped by a notorious French Crusader, Reginald de Chatilon, who is famed for his unique methods of torture and his ability to seduce powerful women. This play moves fluidly before, during, and after her capture to tell a story about war that has a timeless relevance.
“Compelling central plot hook and push-pull between vividly opposed personalities! Winnowing the big-canvas conflict between Christians and Muslims down to a tricky game of power plays between three figures — a powerful sultan, his sister and the French knight who captures her — allows Shamieh a flexible platform to muse on issues of cultural, political, religious and sexual politics that still dominate West and Middle East relations today.” —Variety
Production and Development History
Commissioned: Trinity Rep and developed with Al-Harah Theatre Company at the Bethlehem Peace Center. World Premiere: Magic Theatre (2008). European Premiere: (German translation) co-production of the European Union Capital of Culture Festival and the Landes-Teater (2009).