Oh My Sweet Land

I am aware of a putrid smell walking backstage at the Young Vic to meet the director of ‘Oh My Sweet Land,’ Amir Nizar Zuabi. It is, apparently, cooking onions mingling with fake blood – two props from two different shows.

‘Oh My Sweet Land’ is about one of the most brutal civil wars of this century, but it is the onions rather than the blood that feature in this piece. Here, horrors are recounted rather than performed. In this one-person play, a nameless woman (German-Syrian actor Corinne Jaber) prepares ‘Kubah,’ a traditional Syrian dish, live on stage, as she tells the stories of people she encountered while searching refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan – and finally Syria itself for the man she loves. The stories, gathered by Zuabi and Jaber themselves, are powerful and inevitably heart-breaking.

Red onion

The Selfish Giant

School uniform is a great leveller, concealing beneath its colour-coded livery the disparate lives of its wearers. By which I mean only that starched collars, pressed trousers and buffed shoes tell but part of a story that begins well before eight-thirty and continues well after three.


Known only by his moniker, Banksy, with which he signs his work, this elusive artist has risen from stencilling the streets of Bristol in…