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This new play explores what it means to try and create a nation – and why a country’s treasures matter when people are dying.

  • Running time:

    2 hrs 26 mins + 20 mins interval

Next performance:

11 November, 7:30PM

Swan Theatre
Stratford-upon-Avon

A story of treasured history, desperate choices and the remarkable Gertrude Bell

In 1926, the nation of Iraq is in its infancy, and British archaeologist Gertrude Bell is founding a museum in Baghdad. In 2006, Ghalia Hussein is attempting to reopen the museum after looting during the war.

Decades apart, these two women share the same goals: to create a fresh sense of unity and nationhood, to make the world anew through the museum and its treasures. But in such unstable times, questions remain. Who is the museum for? Whose culture are we preserving? And why does it matter when people are dying?

Please note, this production contains smoking and flashing lights.

Co-commissioned by the RSC and the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh

The work of the RSC Literary Department is generously supported by The Drue and H.J. Heinz II Charitable Trust