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Palace of the End: Stories of three people forever impacted by the Iraq war

Diane Leow

Fri May 24 2013

Palace of the End.  Hannah Norris 1. Photo by Sarah Walker

THE ramifications of 9/11 have affected people in different ways, as Diane Leow finds out through the critically acclaimed series of monologues in Palace of the End

September 11, 2001 changed the world in many ways. On that fateful day, 2,996 people were killed but the damage didn’t end there. The aftermath of 9/11 extended far beyond the horrific events of this day.

Much of what we experience in the world today has been shaped by the tragic events of September 11, 2001 – how news is reported; airport security measures; prepaid SIM card registration to prevent identity theft and of course, the war in Iraq.

March 10, 2013 marked the 10 years since the coalition forces invaded Iraq. A lot of grief and turmoil has ensued during those 10 years, much of which we won’t know about and will never be able to fully comprehend.

Palace of the End is a trio of monologues that tell the stories of three people forever impacted by the Iraq war.

It begins with a piece titled My Pyramids, inspired by the media circus around Lynndie England, the US soldier who was convicted of abusing detainees at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison.

The second piece, titled Harrowdown Hill, is drawn from events surrounding the death of British weapons inspector David Kelly, who allegedly committed suicide after being involved in a government scandal.

Lastly, Instruments of Yearning tells the story of Nehrjas al Saffarh, a well-known member of the Communist Party of Iraq and mother of four. She was tortured by Saddam Hussein’s secret police in the 1970s, and died when American troops bombed her home during the first Gulf War.

Written by Judith Thompson and directed by Daniel Clarke, Palace of the End has received critical acclaim. It received the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Susan Smith Blackburn prize in the United States.

Eugenia Fragos (The Slap, Dead Europe), Robert Meldrum (STC, Bell Shakespeare) and Hannah Norris (My Name is Rachel Corrie) star in this series of monologues.

Palace of the End runs from June 6 to June 16, with a preview on June 5 at 8pm. Tickets cost $32, or $25 for concession holders or those under the age of 30. The preview will cost $20. Tickets are available online. For more information, head over to the Theatre Works website.