Exploring searing questions around refuge, justice and hope, Collective Ma’louba present the UK premiere of The Long Shadow of Alois Brunner, a thought-provoking new play by Syrian playwright Mudar Alhaggi at Factory International’s Aviva Studios this March.
The Long Shadow of Alois Brunner investigates the true story of Alois Brunner, one of the most wanted Nazi criminals to escape sentencing. A key operative in the deportation of over 100,000 European Jews to concentration camps and ghettoes, Brunner was the object of many manhunts and investigations over the years, and he evaded numerous arrest attempts – fleeing to Damascus where he played a significant role in building Syria’s intelligence services. He is thought to have died sometime between 2001 and 2010 without ever being held accountable for his crimes.
An autofictional work, Alhaggi’s play offers a speculative search for Brunner through a clever frame story. Arriving in twenty-first century Berlin as a refugee, Syrian playwright Mudar Alhaggi discovers Brunner’s story and begins to investigate it, before he disappears without a trace. This gripping play follows two actors when they arrive to rehearsals to find only Alhaggi’s research. Using the fragments of texts, historical documents and personal memories, they slowly piece together Alhaggi’s work. Weaving together Syrian and German history, The Long Shadow of Alois Brunner explores justice, exile, political memory and hope – alongside the complex thread that tethers the past to the present.
Mudar Alhaggi is a playwright, dramaturg and cultural activist, as well as founder and artistic director of Collective Ma’louba – an ensemble of Syrian theatre makers based across Germany and France. For this work, Alhaggi joins forces with the multi-award-winning Palestinian/Italian director Omar Elerian.