About Four Lives

Friday 23rd December 2022

Four Lives display in Room 4 at the British Museum. Photo: Trustees of the British Museum
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Storytelling is one of life’s essentials. And who better to tell stories than writers? Given the poor rates of pay for playwrights, it’s not surprising that for more than a couple of decades writers have found work in other sectors: education, health and welfare. And also in museums. A great example is an audio installation at the British Museum, where writers Hassan Abdulrazzak, Anthony Anaxagorou, Fin Kennedy and Nada Sabet have made an in-gallery storytelling experience for Four Lives, a new display in the ancient Egypt gallery. The result is Eternal Telephone, an imaginary hotline to the past in which long-dead characters call your smartphone. These ten mini-monologues feature an Egyptian priest, the daughter of a mercenary soldier, a Phoenician merchant and Alexander the Great — along with other characters such as a modern day refugee. The project was conceived by Applied Stories, set up by Fin Kennedy, former Artistic Director of Tamasha. It’s a good way of time-traveling to the Med of two thousand years ago.

© Aleks Sierz

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