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The Other Side of the Garden

After the success of Above Zero, Ossama Halal, a Syrian director living in Lebanon and the Koon Theater Group collective are offering a loose adaptation of Story of a Mother, a Hans Christian Andersen story.

Echoing what life is like for families living in those Middle Eastern countries devastated by war, the artist tells the tale of a mother’s initiatory quest after Death has taken her son. A journey punctuated by enigmas and ordeals where, at each stop she must leave behind something of herself, as a sacrifice or a renunciation. She leaves her eyes, her hair, her voice…

How many mothers and entire families have been torn apart and have had to throw themselves into a search for their dead? When war is a daily reality it takes existence away from beings and the communities to which they belong. It retains the lives to take them towards an unknown fate. Faced with so much violence, humankind is often incapable of acting and loses a bit of itself in this impotence.

To address sacrifice and deal-making as survival techniques, Ossama Halal uses a distancing technique of symbolic motifs, the puppet, and costumes in Sufi colors. In Natacha Belova he finds a partner of choice to create this universe.


Direction and scenography
Ossama Halal

« L’Histoire d’une mère », Hans Christian Andersen

Alaa Aldin Alaalem & Hisham Hmedan

Puppet, masks & props
Natacha Belova & Loïc Nebrada

Hamza Hamadeh, Sara Mashmoushy, Sara Zein, Seba Kourani, Shadi Mokresh, Stéphanie Kayal

Music direction and performed by
Singhkeo Panya

Nicole Moris

Photography and video
Ziad Al Halabi

Technical direction
Karam Abu Ayash

Assistant director
Muhannad Samman & Tamim Sabri

Awni Daibes

Stage Manager
Michel Ransbotyn

Light operator
Isabel Scheck

Sound operator
Pawel Wnuczynski

Stage director
Stéphanie Denoiseux

Koon Theater Group, Reem Khattab

Création Studio Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

Set and costumes
Ateliers du Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

les ballets C de la B

With the support of
Zoukak Theater Company, Institut français du Liban

© Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles