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Wanted: Thousands of shoes for Palestinian-British play about civilian suffering in Gaza

After a week of heavy snow, Londoners may well be reaching for those old sneakers long since discarded at the bottom of the cupboard.  But now a theater group has come up with another use for them - as the backdrop to a play  highlighting the civilian suffering in Gaza.

A joint Palestinian-British troupe this week launched an appeal for thousands of pairs of second hand shoes to form part of the set design for a its production, 'Go to Gaza - Drink the Sea'.

Zeitgeist and Passion Pit Theatre company said it was setting up a network of collection points manned by volunteers around the capital to bring in the shoes.

'If you have spare shoes, whether in pairs or not, whether old or new, of all sizes, please donate them to this appeal,' the group said in an email.

'Please do come and deliver - and stay for a cuppa!'

The company says the shoes will send a powerful message to theater-goers who see the play, representing  'people both dead and alive' who suffered during 22 days of conflict.

Co-written by the Palestinian and British dramatists Ahmed Masoud and Justin Butcher, the play is also being billed as a collaboration between actors, artists and film-makers.

The duo hope that the set, replete with shoes and goodwill messages from contributors, will travel to Gaza as an art installation and a message of hope after the London play's short February run in the Theatro Technis.

The play is being supported by the Amos Trust and Jews For Justice For Palestine and opens on February 19.