Far Above Rubies

Hagar, Sarah and Eve discuss the beginning of the world and the position of women.

A twelve year old Iranian girl rides on her bike with her hair flowing freely in the wind and is beheaded for immodesty.

A Jewish granddaughter challenges her grandmother’s vision of womanhood.

In Jerusalem a Jewish woman is harassed by Jews and Muslims for having bare arms.

An Iranian woman who has left for the West must face a challenge from the women left behind.

The play examines how monotheism sees the role of women.

SCENE 5

SONG 
TUNISIAN LULLABY

She who gives birth to a girl


Deserves to be hit with a pottery mug


And her husband not to sleep with her any more

She deserves his anger


She deserves to be tied up


But she who gives birth to a boy


Deserves the minaret and the village


Deserves a basket of henna


Jingling anklets


A sheep slaughtered for her


Great celebration


A big barbecue


And the fat tail of a sheep


She who brings good news of a son


Deserves a camel load of good things


A house facing East towards Mecca


Servants and slaves


A good foreign slave


A handsome man servant


And she who bears a girl


Deserves a blow with a mug


Deserves to stay at home


To be hidden away

Production History

Premiered 1983 Drill Hall

Painting by Anne Sassoon