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Jan 30, 2023

The Beekeeper Of Aleppo, co-produced by Matthew Spangler world premieres at Nottingham Playhouse this week

Christy Lefteri’s

Adapted for the stage by Nesrin Alrefaai and Matthew Spangler from the acclaimed novel by Christy Lefteri and in association with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse & UK Productions Ltd, the Nottingham Playhouse presents The Beekeeper Of Aleppo running from Fri 3 – Sat 25 Feb

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‘I was scared of the bees at first, but now, they make me feel alive. They are like a society in complete harmony with itself. Not like people at all, but maybe what people have the potential to be’

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. On their terrifying journey, they must face the pain of their own unbearable loss alongside incredible danger. Above all, they must journey to find each other again. This compassionate and beautiful play is a story of connection – between friends, families and strangers.

Winner of the Aspen Words Award, Runner up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and one of The Times top three bestselling books of 2020, Christy Lefteri’s best-selling novel has its world premiere in a brand new adaptation by Nesrin Alrefaai and Matthew Spangler who adapted our sell-out production of The Kite Runner. The production will be directed by Olivier Award winning Miranda Cromwell (Death of a Salesman – Young Vic, Piccadilly Theatre and Broadway).

Tickets on sale at:

The play will also run in Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre from 11th Apr. - 15th Apr. with tickets available at:

Awards and praise for The Beekeeper Of Aleppo

A Richard & Judy Book Club Choice 2020

A BBC Radio 2 Book Club Choice 2019

The Reading Agency's Pick For National Reading Group Day

Winner Of The 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize USA

Runner Up For The Dayton Literary Peace Prize USA

Third Biggest Selling Paperback In The UK  Of 2020

Winner Of Nielsen Bestseller Gold Award For UK Sales Of Over 500,000

“With the first sentence, we enter a world too visible for the protagonists who can’t, nevertheless, turn away. The Beekeeper of Aleppo demands that we contemplate the way we humans process the horror around us, the senseless violence, the loss of what we hold dearest”

Esmeralda Santiago, Aspen Words Literary Prize head judge

“This is a novel of international significance. Courageous, provocative, haunting, it will open our eyes”

Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

“The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ is a story of loss, love, resilience and hope. In the same school as the Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Kite Runner, it’s impossible not to be moved by Lefteri’s plea for humanity and perhaps inspired too”

The Observer/ Guardian

Christy Lefteri has crafted a beautiful novel, intelligent, thoughtful, and relevant. I'm recommending this book to everyone I care about. So, I'm recommending this book to you’

Benjamin Zephaniah

“[Christy] Lefteri sensitively charts what it’s like when war comes home, alert to the subtle effects of trauma and grief. Nuri and Afra are not broadly sketched as victims, but rather suffer in different and complex ways from PTSD. . . . By creating characters with such rich, complex inner lives, Lefteri shows that in order to stretch compassion to millions of people, it helps to begin with one.”


“So if you like sweeping, well-told story of social value that pushes some obvious emotional buttons then this is for you”

The Metro

“The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a relevant, timely book, but impresses most as a compassionate and truthful character study. It’s a remarkable account of the dislocation endured by displaced persons across the world, an important and necessary novel that humanises the dispossessed who are all too often demonised”

Herald Scotland

“Beekeeper Nuri and his wife, Afra, are devastated by the Syrian civil war. After violence claims their child and Afra’s eyesight, the couple is forced to flee Aleppo and make the fraught journey to Britain—and an uncertain future.”

USA Today (5 Books Not to Miss)

“A haunting and resonant story of Syrian war refugees undertaking a treacherous journey . . . Readers will find this deeply affecting for both its psychological intensity and emotional acuity.”

Publishers Weekly

“A redemptive tale of hope in the midst of shocking adversity”

Irish Independent

A book of darkness and light, of horrors and hope, and of the true power of the human spirit”


“Heartbreaking at times, this story of fear, loss and survival gives an emotionally charged insight into what life is like for refugees facing the depravity of predators and needing the compassion of strangers”

Candis Magazine

“She has created a convincing and harrowing novel about the will to survive- and the enduring power of love”

Sunday Mirror

“In The Beekeeper she has created an utterly convincing and harrowing novel about the will to survive and the enduring power of love”

Sunday People

“This book is haunting, heart breaking, eye opening, thought provoking and brilliant”

Lipsquid Book Blog

“I have not read anything this haunting and moving since The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini. This book will stay with me for a long time”

Brown Flopsy Blogspot

“This is a beautiful story of hope, an important tale of devastation, and a cry for compassion and action”

Rebecca's Rave Reviews

“Honestly, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri is stunning because it has everything I wanted and more in it”

Romantics, Rebels and Reviews

“In recounting the daily brutality as well as the glimmers of beauty, this novel humanizes the terrifying refugee stories we read about in the news. Lefteri explores questions of trust and portrays what trauma and loss can do to individuals and their relationships. . . . A beautiful rumination on seeing what is right in front of us—both the negative and the positive”

The Boston Globe (Pick of the Week)

“Great for book club . . . a powerful story about the refugee experience, hope, and love”

Real Simple

“Nuri's story rings with authenticity, from the vast, impersonal cruelties of war to the tiny kindnesses that help people survive it. . . . A well-crafted structure and a troubled but engaging narrator power this moving story of Syrian refugees”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In fluid, forthright language, Lefteri brings us humbly closer to the refugee experience as beekeeper Nuri and his wife, an artist named Afra who has gone blind form the horrors she’s witnessed, escape Aleppo and travel dangerously to Great Britain. . . . There’s no overloading the deck with drama; this story tells itself, absorbingly and heartrendingly”

Library Journal

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