Enkidu Khaled is an award-winning and internationally acclaimed theatre maker and performer from Baghdad, living in Belgium.
Based on traumatic events he witnessed years back, he invites the audience to join him in analysing and simplifying the complex process of making theatre from personal experience in Working Method.
Can you tell us a bit about Working Method?
In Working Method, I introduce people to a methodology which I developed during my studies at DASArts, Amsterdam, in 2015-2016. I wanted this method to be spread throughout the world; as a theatre maker, the most obvious way for me to do that was to make theatre about it and to perform it internationally.
The format I’ve chosen – that of a workshop and storytelling in one – is a medium I experimented with before, but it also creates an interesting relationship between me as a performer, a storyteller, and the audience members, who participate.
Where did the inspiration for the show come from?
I wanted to rethink, to question the relation between art and the society. To tell the story and the need of art in violent times. I believe art can open new perspectives on life itself.
Working Method came from the need to provide simple creative art education tools, especially towards the Middle East education system, where creativity has not been taken enough into consideration throughout the curriculum. I created the show as part of making my living, but I also wanted to share the method through the show, let people see it is simple, and you can use it in several ways.
What’s been your most interesting experience presenting this show before?
Each time I present this show, it is a unique experience for me as it’s made together with the attending audience. Each group has its own dynamics, whether it’s in Cape Town, Bagdad, Scotland, Istanbul or Amsterdam. In Leuven, I had the chance to apply the method for a longer period of time at a workshop with theatre students of LUCAdrama. By using the different steps of the method, they made and presented a piece together with the title ‘fish and a little water’. For me, it was proof of how you can really use the method to create theatre.
This is the London Premiere of Working Method. What does it mean to you to be presenting your show here?
As an artist, I’ve never been in London before, so the meaning of that experience is yet to come. I don’t want to have any expectations to allow the energy to come from itself.
How did you get into theatre?
It came by accident. I had two brothers who are film-makers. I always watched movies as a child, but there was no real film industry in Iraq. There was a possibility to study theatre though, and as I wanted to be as close to film as I could, I started studying that. I soon noticed where theatre is different than film: you have a direct connection with the audience and everybody else involved. You share time and a space. It gives a unique experience, which I am always looking for. Since then, theatre felt more as my home, and I stayed there, in the theatre, all my life.
Do you have any words of wisdom for those wanting to make theatre?
You need to come to see my work. (laughs)
When I was working in Bagdad, this was what I was telling my colleagues and peers in the art field: When you make theatre, you should know that you are bigger than any artist or artist school in the whole history, and you are equal to all humanity, and you are more delicate than any little plant existing in the nowhere.
Why should everyone see Working Method?
For me, it’s hard to say that everyone should see my work, because that is a choice I would be happy if the audience members make themselves. But I can say about the Working Method show that it contains many layers, and that people from many different backgrounds can find access to the artistic gravity of the show.
Working Method (★★★★★ Broadway Baby) will run at the Gate Theatre from 11 – 13 July as part of Shubbak @ Gate. Book now