To celebrate the first Christmas of The Walled Off Hotel in Palestine, Banksy held an alternative production of the traditional Nativity play – The Alternativity.
The performance took place on 3rd December in the car park of the hotel, which received the Leading Culture Destinations’ Art Hotel of The Year 2017 award, and was filmed by the BBC for a documentary, set to air on BBC Two on Sunday 17th December.
BBC News reports that the channel’s controller, Patrick Holland, ‘said the programme would show “a challenging and provocative exploration of a story that speaks to young and old alike.”
The documentary will feature behind-the-scenes footage and follow the production process during the six-week period the directors were given to put the play together.
The Alternativity was directed by both the artist Riham Isaac, who was born near Bethlehem, where the street artist’s hotel is located, and the Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle.
Having earned an MA in Performance Making from Goldsmith’s University in London, Riham Isaac describes herself as a ‘theatre maker-performance artist-actress’. She has been acting since 2006 and has created, or co-created, many dance and theatre pieces, including the critically-acclaimed experimental play without words, 48 Minutes For Palestine, which has toured internationally. The talented young director also recently opened a new art salon in her hometown of Beit-Sahour to encourage the local community to become involved with and engaged in the arts.
Danny Boyle is more of a household name given the Mancunian’s directorial CV boasts an impressive roster of big-screen hits including Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire and Shallow Grave.
Whilst Boyle likely encountered reams of red tape in his position as artistic director for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, putting together a play featuring local children, actors and employing local crew, within such a short space of time on the West Bank was undoubtedly trying for the pair. Boyle – who confessed to never having met Banksy despite it being his project – spoke to the BBC of the “many restrictions” they faced.
Of course the whole Christmas extravaganza would not be complete with some promotional artwork from its mastermind. Two new Banksy street art pieces were installed ahead of the event, with an exclusive original chalk and stencil-style illustration, featuring a drone watching over a traditional nativity scene, being created especially for the BBC documentary.
If you are interested in buying or selling genuine authenticated Banksy prints or original art works, please contact the Theodorus Gallery team directly.