A PLAY about Palestine that has been receiving standing ovations is to make its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

Written by Ahmed Masoud, whose own family have been displaced from Gaza, the “compelling and moving” black comedy takes place before the most recent events but demonstrates how the failure to see people’s humanity can lead to inhumane acts.

Masoud is the writer behind the “cancellation” of Obliterated with Maxime Peake, a theatrical stunt to highlight the destruction by Israel’s bombing of the only theatre in Gaza. He is also the author of the acclaimed novels, Vanished and Come What May.

Although he left Gaza in 2022 before the current bombardment of the population, he saw many buildings bombed by Israeli warplanes as he was growing up. Masoud said that each time he saw a building destroyed a “new, sad layer” engulfed his mind.

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“Every time I stared towards the location of that building, a shadow appeared of what used to exist,” he said. “The people, flats, houses, rooftop solar panels, black water barrels, satellite dishes. The people who stood there and had wedding parties.”

Masoud said his play, The Shroud Maker, highlighted the humanity of the Palestinian people – their sense of humour and their great instinct for survival.

“The Palestinian narrative is often presented through the small lens of politics without reference to the vibrant culture rooted in the people’s history and memories,” he pointed out.

“What is happening in Gaza right now is an example of how people fail to understand the deep human story which expands to centuries on this land.

“The Shroud Maker addresses these issues through the personal narrative of a woman trying to survive decades of war by making shrouds for the dead, shrewdly realising that this is a good business to have in a land of conflict. Hajja Souad’s story provides both comedy and deep trauma.”

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The play weaves comic fantasy and satire with true stories to create a vivid portrait of Palestinian life in Gaza before the Israeli invasion last October.

It centres on a woman who sells shrouds for burying the dead – the one item that is always in demand. As her past returns to haunt her, she is forced to make a big decision but first tells a harrowing story of courage, love and escape that takes audiences on the journey of her life from Aqqur through Jerusalem and Hebron to her workshop in Gaza. Along the way, much is revealed about Palestine-Israel history.

The Shroud Maker stars Julia Tarnoky whose critically acclaimed roles include Sylvia Plath in Sylvia directed by Ralph Fiennes, and Helen in Corryvreckan, for which she won the LFA Best Actress Award.

The Shroud Maker will run from July 31 until August 25, excluding August 14