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Olive Jar Cast Interviews: Lana

Still reflecting on the Olive Jar performance? We have a few more interviews from our run in Spring- and keep reading to find out when and how you can return the magic of the Olive Jar stories. 

Who you are and what is your role in the show?

My name is Lana and I am originally from Iraq, and my story will be talking about the (my) experience that happened in the war when I was in Iraq and how that was/would look like.

Why do you think it’s important to tell your narrative and discuss what you’ve been through?

I think this is a very good opportunity to make others hearing about- you know, what we went through, what’s the experience we coming from. Because when I come to the UK I lived here, like I’m part of this country but is- I have my own experiences, my own culture, my identity, and that was a really good opportunity for me to share this experience so others will know about what we went through, what history went through, what experiences we went through, so it’s really a pleasure for me to share this with others.

Do you have a favorite moment in the play?

I enjoyed every moment in the play, whether like talking about my story or whether being part of the others stories so we were really a team, team work, especially when we were performing with my (friend), Phayaphi, the same we were sharing similarity of the experiences, but (also) different experiences we went through (in Iarq). We felt like we were one in one story.

Do you think you’ve changed since the first production?

Yes, yes definitely I..The first time when I joined the project, I wouldn’t think I would be on stage, very like…kind of a shy person and like I don’t feel confident to share this, especially sharing my own story with others. So it’s a bit- getting experience through that (this performance), I felt like I grow and develop and I get lots of experiences through that journey. Yes, yes indeed, I learnt a lot and I felt like- yeah I grow a lot since then.

Do you have a particular motif (dolma, tea etc) that you like the most?

Everything actually, especially the bread we were talking about the bread (in Lana’s and Phayaphi’s Olive Jar story), the Iraq bread, reminding of my heritage, my country, and that’s very traditional, iraq bread and the smell that we were talking about it. It’s really like I’m smelling it! It was kind of really a different experience, like a 3D show, cause we had performance, and we had the food there so that people can test it, feel what we went through. This, like everything, was really special. But yes (the motif I connect with the most) is the Iraqi bread.

Who do you want ‘Olive Jar’ to reach and connect with?

Honestly I want everyone, reaching different groups, whether people share the same similar experiences and would know about what I was talking about, they went through the same journey I went through, who would really connect. Like this what Phayaphi mentioned at the end (of the play) we really had connected with that. But also I was really keen to the others, like from different backgrounds, to hear our stories and understand what we went through, the journey we went through.

So I want them to know about these stories, maybe for others heard from social media, heard from news, but they didn’t went through the similar. It is something (Olive Jar) different for them to think about twice, like about what they are, when they are being judgemental, or like you know, having a stereotype about things. Maybe this is a good time for them to think more about  it, and to even read about it, what we went through, so I’d like to reach this group from different cultures as well.

Any last comments to the audience, to the team?

I want to thank everyone who has been part of this journey, because I feel like this is an amazing journey I have had. From all, from everybody who had a role, like my colleagues who have been in the same position, the grand junction, the staff, like everybody! It was really a pleasure to work with them- I think this is the first, not I think- this is the first, an experience I won’t go through again, it means a lot for me. I would like to thank everybody who has been a part of this journey.

Interview conducted by Anayis N. Der Hakopian

Did you miss ‘Olive Jar’ the second time around? Make sure to join us online realm on oMonday June 10th to watch last year’s summer performance for a limited time only!