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The Abyss by Ghiath Al Mhitawi - play reading

Royal Court Theatre's International Playwrights Programme

 A series of new short plays written by emerging international writers.

‘I climbed up quietly, their screams became louder and farther away, I reached the top of the chimney and looked inside the Abyss.’ One conversation around a German dinner table turns to the topic of the climate crisis.

Translated by Victoria Lupton & Stefan Tarnowski


International Climate Crisis Plays
The Royal Court Theatre returns to the Edinburgh International Festival for a major new residency that will culminate in a week of lunchtime performances of new short plays written by some of the most significant international new voices.

The five writers from Brazil, China, India, South Africa and Syria will share urgent perspectives from across the world on the global climate crisis through plays specially commissioned to premiere at the festival.

Download the programme here

Ghiath Al Mhitawi (Syria)
Ghiath al Mhitawi is a playwright and filmmaker from Damascus, holds a Bachelor’s degree in theatrical studies from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus, Syria. He worked as a trainer and writer for social theatre in Syria and Lebanon and conducts research in the realm of theatre. His play the final Return was presented at the Royal Court Theatre in 2015 as part of Told from the Inside, a series of Syrian play readings.


Alongside to the performances, the writers will spend two weeks forging new relationships with other international artists in Edinburgh and collaborators from across the UK.

Each artist’s residency will also involve a visit to another partner organisation across the UK who has supported the development of their work. These include HighTide Festival, Leeds Playhouse, Live Theatre in Newcastle and the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester.

This project is curated in partnership with and supported by the British Council.

Ghiath Al Mhitawi Playwright and filmmaker
Aisha Khan Director
Royal Court Theatre


More information about some of the artists:

Royal Court Theatre
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14 August 2019

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book. The 2020 programme will be announced in the spring.

With thanks to our supporters


Funded through the PLACE Programme, a partnership between the Edinburgh Festivals and