Source: Sulayman Al-Bassam
Production website and reviews at Sulayman Al-Bassam Theatre (SABAB).
Dr. Margaret Litvin reviewed this production for the Shakespeare Bulletin when it was performed at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, February 8-17, 2007.
On February 24, 2009, Jim Lehrer’s Newshour, PBS (USA) aired an interview done by Jeffrey Brown with Sulayman Al-Bassam about Richard III: An Arab Tragedy. It was the second of a series of reports on the Arabesque arts festival at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. [transcript, mp3]
A feature was also done by The New York Times on June 11, 2009 called “Anatomy of a Scene: ‘Richard III: An Arab Tragedy’,” with voice over by the director, Sulayman Al-Bassam.
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
Review of Sulayman al-Bassam’s Richard III: An Arab Tragedy. In Shakespeare Bulletin 25:4 (Winter 2007), 85-91.
Essays written by Graham Holderness:
Note: This is the full video
Note: BAMorg — May 18, 2009 — Jun 9—12 at 7:30pm at BAM
Sabab / Sulayman Al-Bassam Theatre (Kuwait)
Adapted and directed by Sulayman Al-Bassam
"Al-Bassam's work is about as original and pulse-quickening as you could wish." —The Times (UK )
In an oil-rich kingdom, a dictator's bloody rise to power becomes an allegory of our own times in Richard III: An Arab Tragedy, Kuwaiti director Sulayman Al-Bassam's groundbreaking remake of Shakespeare's Machiavellian masterpiece. Grainy TV confessions, sophisticated propaganda, and a wealth of Arab music and ritual lend themes of leadership, religion, and foreign intervention an uncanny relevance, turning this classic play into a cautionary contemporary tale.
This work was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the Complete Works Festival.
Part of Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas
BAM Harvey Theater
Running time: 110min, no intermission
Subscription tickets: $20, 28, 36
(Full price: $25, 35, 45)
In Arabic with English titles
Note: In Richard III "An Arab VIP", a documentary film crew follows a spectacular touring Arab production of Shakespeare's eponymous play as it moves from an initial rehearsal period in the oil-rich Arabian Gulf State of Kuwait to the charged atmosphere of a U.S. premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and on to the United Arab Emirates - for a command performance at the behest of local princesses in Abu Dhabi. In between, the cast and crew assemble and disassemble in various cities across the Arab world -- Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad, Abu Dhabi -- and the process of breathing life into their fictional characters begins to take shape in a way that uncannily reflects the politics and turmoil that surrounds them...