Erotic, spiritual, self aware and utterly mesmerising: there are not enough words to aptly describe Hanane Hajj Ali’s Jogging. Performed almost entirely in Arabic, it seems untouchable and sacred. The distance created between the mostly English speaking audience in attendance and the Arabic verse lifts the performance to new heights, as we strive to comprehend a world we understand so little about. The clunky translations only add to its elegance.

Hanane Hajj Ali is a fantastic. The play begins with her morning stretches and chants, and she performs them in a way that is both rhythmical and vulgar all at once. She unites the earthly sensual world with the transcendent, summarised beautifully by her grandmother: ‘everything that comes from the sky is good, even if it is bird’s shit.’

Her jogging starts slow, and gradually builds in emotion and intensity. As she jogs, she weaves in many untold stories of real and fictional women who have committed terrible crimes, and seeks to uncover what led them to such ends. She becomes these women and these women exist through her. This performance will leave you in awe: Jogging is theatre at its most profound and significant whilst remaining current and down to earth.

Words: Madeleine Sanders

Jogging, Summerhall, Aug 15-23, 11.50am

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