A classic love story re-told by Amer Hlehel in a contemporary bilingual rendering with live music performed by Kareem Samara and Rihab Azar.
The actor and writer five-star Taha (Shubbak 2017, Young Vic) transforms poet Qassim Haddad’s powerful rendering of the classic tale of Majnun Layla into a live experience. The story of love, passion, eroticism and unfulfilled desire, often described as the Arab Romeo and Juliet, is radically reinterpreted with an original sound score and accompaniment from Rihab Azar and Kareem Samara on electronic and acoustic oud. Staying true to the sequence and emotional life of the poems, Hlehel moves between Arabic and English using Ferial Ghazoul and John Verlenden’s much-lauded translation, playing with rhythm, intonation and the particularities of both languages to bring out the universal qualities of this epic.
Qassim Haddad is multi-award winning Bahraini poet. The English translation of Chronicles of Majnun Layla was published in 2014. Amer Hlehel is a Palestinian actor and writer, who has performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court and Young Vic.
Presented in partnership with The Bagri Foundation.
Why not double up your evening? On 2nd July we are hosting a Gate Late: Shubbak: Working with Music with Amer Hlehel, Rihab Azar and Kareem Samara, chaired by Gate Theatre Artistic Director, Ellen McDougall. They will discuss how they developed this radical new version of the classic love story with live music.
Read the interview: Amel Hlehel discusses his inspiration behind Chronicles of Majnun Layla
Image: Saheer Obaid