Fringe Interview Quickies – Afeif Ismail

Interview by: Freya Hall

We know what you want: interviews that are short, sweet, and to the point. So we devised these interview questions and shot them off to the smartest and brightest that Fringe has got to offer.

In this instalment we bring you: Afeif Ismail, the Writer/Co-transcreator/Director of ‘Circles of Return’. ‘Circles of Return’ presents a fascinating journey through landscapes of imagination and places populated by humanity’s absurdity. The play is marked by rich visual and verbal imagery and a streak of irony that plays upon the darkly humorous, vengeful and poignant moments we all experience.

Is this your first time at Fringe? 

As a regular fan of the Fringe Festival I am excited to have a production, Circles of Return, performed. Although I have never participated in Fringe before some of my works have been produced in Australia including ‘The African Magician’, a play for children directed by Jeremy Rice and produced  in 2010 by Barking Gecko Theatre Company in Western Australia. This play was nominated in the 44th Annual AWGIE Award for Best Children’s Play in 2011. The second of my plays for children, ‘Son of The Nile’, was produced by Murdoch University in 2012 and directed by Dr David Moody and Tim Brain. ‘Three Seeds’, a trio of plays, was directed by Jeremy Rice and produced by Always Working Artists, it premiered at The Blue Room Theatre in 2014.

Many of my works have been produced in cities, towns and villages in Sudan including ‘Khartoum’, from 1986 to 2000. These have included ‘The Race’, ‘Doors’, ‘The Merchant’, ‘Starvation’ and ‘The Centre of the Circle’.

What is your act all about?

This play features three distinct performances. In the first performance, ‘Godot’s Labyrinth’, Godot is a witty witness to humanity’s short-sighted belief it can control its destiny. In the second, ‘Hamlet Syndrome’, Hamlet plays games with people’s lives as his soul is eroded by anger until he feels nothing. The third performance, and the centre of the circle, is ‘Nirvana’, a lyrical piece depicting the journey of a soul haunted by the world and its complications; it is the story of a woman fleeing to nature in search of answers and healing.

What acts do you want to see most at this year’s festival?

I am looking forward to seeing the play ‘Underground’ written by the amazing, local, multitalented artist Vivienne Glance.

What do you think of Perth? 

My adopted hometown of Perth is definitely an up and coming centre for the arts with a vibrant atmosphere. I look forward to watching the city’s art scene evolve in the upcoming years.

And finally, why should people come and see your show?

The show is a wonderful blend of Sudanese storytelling and contemporary theatre techniques. With a talented multicultural and multilingual cast ‘Circles of Return’ represents the future of theatre; it is a dynamic experience that is accessible to people from all walks of life.