Originally broadcast on March 24, 2019 on BBC4, The Believers Are But Brothers was adapted for television from the award-winning play of the same name.
It was Pick of the Week in the Sun, the Daily Mail, The Telegraph and the Times.
About the Production
Artist, writer and activist Alipoor steps into the dark, blurry online world of fantasists and extremists to tell four fictional stories - of an ISIS recruiter, two British recruits and an alt-right ‘white boy’ from California.
Extremists communicate openly on social media and young men find power in digital fantasy, unleashing their wrath on the world. Alipoor’s fictional play captivated audiences with its portrayal of a shifting world of truth, fantasy, violence and hyper-reality just one click away and his television adaptation promises to take BBC Four audiences deep into this digital realm.
Through the screens on our phones and in our homes, and the apps we use every day, he explores this complex and controversial world via an electronic maze of meme culture, 4chan, the alt-right and ISIS. Along the way he uncovers a toxic mix of the harmlessly bizarre and the horrific, gaming and chatrooms, infamous ads and propaganda, brutal misogyny and weird fantasy, where, seemingly cut off from real world values and boosted by anonymity, anything can be said or done.
It was commissioned for television by The Space.
The Rising of the Moon was a promenade site-specific play that told the story of the Bradford Chartist Rising of 1842. It took places across four locations and featured digital technology, live action and a medium sized riot.
"...as radical in form as it is in content... the writing is incisive and bitingly revolutionary...this, indeed, is one of the key concepts of the play: it is not a ‘dead’ history, it is alive and kicking and screaming out for justice."
The Reviews Hub 5*
The Rising of the Moon was the culmination of a year long series of community theatre projects, exploring the lasting relevance of the Chartist movement to socially excluded and minority communities. We worked all across Bradford to right a new "People's Charter"
The Rising of the Moon was commissioned by Bradford Festival, and supported by the National Lottery and Arts Council England.
“AN EXTRAORDINARY, TECHED UP SHOW…THE BUZZ SHOW OF LAST YEAR’S EDINBURGH FRINGE” THE NEW YORK TIMES
“COMPLEX...MASTERLY...ONE OF THE MOST FASCINATING SHOWS I HAVE SEEN IN AN AGE” ***** FINANCIAL TIMES
“FULL OF DARK POETRY AND SHEER ANALYTICAL POWER” THE SCOTSMAN
WINNER | SUMMERHALL LUSTRUM AWARD FOR GREATEST EDINBURGH FESTIVAL MOMENTS
WINNER | DIGITAL STORYTELLING AWARD - COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
NOMINEE | TOTAL THEATRE AWARD FOR EXPERIMENTATION AND INNOVATION
NOMINEE | THE STAGE 2018 AWARD FOR INNOVATION
We live in a time where old orders are collapsing. From the post colonial nation states of the Middle East, to the EU and the American election. Through it all, tech savvy and bloodthirsty groups like ISIS run through European drawn border lines.
Amidst this, a generation of young men, find themselves burning with resentment; without the money, power and sex they think they deserve and this crisis of masculinity leads them on a journey into an online world of fantasy, violence and reality. Written by Manchester based Javaad Alipoor, this Fringe First award winning and Total Theatre Nominated (Experimentation & Innovation) multi-media show weaves together their stories. One of the word of mouth hits of this years Edinburgh Fringe, this is a play both in and of our times.
2019 UK & INTERNATIONAL TOUR
03 APR - 06 APR // STRATFORD CIRCUS ARTS CENTRE, LONDON
23 APR - 27 APR // TOBACCO FACTORY, BRISTOL
10 MAY - 11 MAY // RIVERSIDE THEATRES, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
16 MAY - 18 MAY // MERRIGONG THEATRE, WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA
22 MAY - 25 MAY // ARTS HOUSE, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
2018 UK & INTERNATIONAL TOUR
24 JAN - 10 FEB // BUSH THEATRE, LONDON
25 APR - 28 APR // THEATRE IN THE MILL, BRADFORD
01 MAY - 05 MAY // PLYMOUTH THEATRE ROYAL, THE DRUM
14 JUN - 16 JUN // NORTHERN STAGE, NEWCASTLE
05 JUL - 06 JUL // NUFFIELD SOUTHAMPTON THEATRES CITY STUDIO
16 JUL - 21 JUL // SHEFFIELD CRUCIBLE, LYCEUM STUDIO
01 OCT - 06 OCT // GEST, GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN
15 OCT - 17 OCT // GULBENKIAN, KENT
30 OCT - 10 NOV // DIWALI FESTIVAL IN BC, THE CULTCH, VANCOUVER,
22 NOV - 23 NOV // BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME, PATRICK STUDIO
The play was supported by TRANSFORM, The Ovalhouse, HOME, Northern Stage, National Theatre Studio and Arts Council England.
My Brother's Country was a four hand play that told the story of Fereydoun Farrokhzad and his sister Forough, Iran's Sylvia Plath. Fereydoun was a singer, poet TV producer and the closest thing Iran has had to an out gay icon. He was found brutally murdered in the small bedsit he lived in as a Refugee in 1992. The play was about sexuality, religion and the birth of the modern middle east.
My Brother's Country was co-commissioned by Theatre in the Mill, ARC Stockton and The Lowry. It was supported by Bradford MDC and Arts Council England.
Javaad Alipoor Writer & Co-Director
Natalie Diddams Dramaturge & Co-Director
Madalene Wills Lighting Design
Martin Thompson Sound Design
Currently looking at re-development and further touring.
Orgreave: An English Civil War was a large community project that took place in two locations. It was a response to the often parochial and short sighted way theatre artists engage with the heritage of the Miners Strike.
Versions of the play were performed at both the site of the Battle of Orgreave as part of the 2015 Orgreave mass picnic, as well at Bradford's Theatre in the Mill. It used music, movement, spoken word and theatre to tell the story of the Battle of Orgreave and the Miners Strike, whilst teasing out the parallels to the crushing of the hopes of the Arab Spring.
Listen in full here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/m0000mp6
BBC Radio 4 Short Works
How does a boy learn when to run away, when to fight back and when to hide in a phone box? Written and performed by Javaad Alipoor, The Phone Box is a new short work for radio. It's a poetic monologuereflecting on those formative moments of childhood that stay with you, bright and ringing, into adulthood.
Javaad Alipoor is a writer, theatre maker and director who grew up in Bradford. He is resident associate director at Sheffield theatres and an associate director of Bradford's Theatre in the Mill. This is his Radio 4 debut.
His most recent play, 'The Believers Are But Brothers', invites audiences to experience the world of disaffected men online. It was Fringe First award winning and Total Theatre Nominated. His other plays include 'The Rising of the Moon' and 'Bassett.'
He also writes poetry and prose. His pamphlet 'The People Want a long form poem about the Arab Spring' was published by Art in Unusual Places. His essays and theory-fiction on global politics, philosophy and art have been published by Continuum and UnKant.