YOUNG actors from Gaza are among a global cast performing in Oxford tonight.

Pegasus Theatre, in Magdalen Road, is hosting an international festival after bringing young actors and actresses from all over the world to perform in the city.

Festival director Yasmin Sidhwa said: “We can’t believe it’s actually happening. All the groups have travelled here safely and the Gazans have got through the borders. It’s everything we dreamed it would be.”

For the Ramallah-based Ashtar Theatre, the journey has been longer and harder than most.

Their piece, The Gaza Mono-Logues, was performed simultaneously in October by 1,500 children in 36 countries around the world – while the teenagers who wrote it had to perform it at home as they were unable to leave their country.

The play was staged twice at the UN headquarters in New York in November but, again, the group responsible for creating it could not be there.

After months of negotiations and wrangling, Pegasus managed to get all the necessary permissions so the group could take part in Mesh Oxford International Youth Arts Festival.

They will perform their piece today at 4.30pm and 8.30pm at the North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade.

Iman Aoun, artistic director of the Ashtar Theatre, said: “If it was The Gaza Mono-Logues that brought the voices of the young Gazans out to the world, it is Mesh that brought the Gaza youth out of Gaza – the prison – to the world.

“This noble idea and the hard work of Pegasus team could not succeed without the generosity of the donors who are covering this trip.”

The monologues are the personal stories of the 12 young people about their experiences in Gaza. * For more details and tickets, visit