Source: Sulayman Al-Bassam
2004 expanded Arabic version; script and photos published in a bilingual text (University of Hertfordshire Press, 2006). Expands on the 2002 English-language version, adding scenographic changes such as the “empty space” (grave site at center stage) and new scenes including the “Horse of War” skit. Arabic-speaking cast members come from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Kuwait.
Production website and reviews at Sulayman Al-Bassam Theatre (SABAB).
Produced in London and at festivals in Tokyo, Seoul, Tehran, etc. Recorded at the Tokyo International Arts Festival (2004).
Author and director: Sulayman Al-Bassam (Kuwaiti/British)
A crumbling Arab dictatorship (a collage of real states) convenes a government conference amid car bombs in the capital, rebellion in the south, and an international army massed on the borders. English-speaking Arms Dealer (Nigel Barratt) sells to all, including Claudius, Fortinbras, Gertrude, the Islamist Hamlet, and the suicide bomber Ophelia.
Essay written by Margaret Litvin:
“Explosive Signifiers: Sulayman Al-Bassam’s Post-9/11 Odyssey,” Shakespeare Yearbook 20, Shakespeare After 9/11: How a Social Trauma Reshapes Interpretation (2011), 103-35. (A revised version, updated for the most recent play, is forthcoming in Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation, Alexander Huang and Elizabeth Rivlin, eds., Palgrave.)
“Sulayman Al-Bassam in the Arab Shakespeare Tradition” – Essay commissioned by the Asia Society and BAM for the “Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas” festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, June 2009
Essays written by Graham Holderness: