Index of Works

Production history

Ritual for a Metamorphosis

by Saadallah Al Wannous

The first seminal Arabic text to enter the historic repertoire of the Comedie Francaise.
An entire society is driven into a state of dissolution and chaos by the determination of one woman.

Co-produced by the Comedie Francaise with Théâtre du Gymnase
Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam

full details

2013
Marseille, Paris

In the Eruptive Mode

A series of short monologues capturing the voices of individuals caught in the convulsions of change and struggle in the contemporary Arab world.

Written and Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam

full details

2013
Sydney (premiere)

2012
Paris

The Speaker’s Progress

A forensic reconstruction of Twelfth Night transforms into an unequivocal act of defiance towards the state. Third part of the Arab Shakespeare trilogy. A dark satire on the decades of hopelessness and political inertia that fed recent revolts across the Arab region.

Conceived by Georgina Van Welie and Sulayman Al Bassam
Written and Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam

full details

2012
Tunis, Cairo, Kuwait, Amsterdam

2011
Kuwait (preview), Beirut, NewYork (US premiere), Boston

Hayyal Bu Tair

A modern day Gulf comedy inspired by Moliere’s classic Tartuffe.

Adapted by leading Kuwaiti political satirist Jaafar Rajab
Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam

full details

2010
Beirut

Richard III – An Arab Tragedy

A contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic, reworked and transplanted into the scorching oil-rich Islamic world of the Gulf. Second part of the Arab Shakespeare trilogy.

Adapted and Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam
Commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company for the Complete Works Festival

full details

2009
Washington DC, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, New York

2008
Kuwait, Damascus, Paris, Amsterdam

2007
Stratford-upon-Avon (Premiere as 'The Baghdad Richard'), Athens

The Mirror for Princes – Kalila Wa Dimna

A radical adaptation of the allegorical animal fables Kalila wa Dimna – an exploration of the mechanics of Empire and the narratives of power, an argument for cultural and religious tolerance in the modern Arab and Western worlds.

Written and Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam
Originally commissioned by Sheikha Hussa Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah
Co-produced by Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah (Kuwait), Tokyo International Arts Festival and barbicanbite06

full details

2006
Kuwait, Bahrain, Kyoto, Tokyo, Sharjah, London, Oxford

2005
London (preview), Kuwait (preview)

The Al-Hamlet Summit

The familiar characters of Shakespeare’s play are delegates placed in a conference room in an unnamed modern Arab state on the brink of war. First part of the Arab Shakespeare trilogy, which evolved from Hamlet in Kuwait (2001)

Written and Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam
Arabic language version commissioned and co-produced by Tokyo International Arts Festival

full details

2005
Elsinore, Singapore

2002
Edinburgh, Cairo

2004
Tokyo, Bath, London, Seoul, Kuwait

Melting the Ice

The first fully formulated Arab artistic response to the American-led liberation/occupation of Iraq, bringing together a cast of leading Iraqi, Kuwaiti, British and American actors for the first time.
Scenes from Heiner Mueller’s Slaughter combined with a newly commissioned English script, The Trough, by Torben Betts.

Conceived and Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam
Produced by the Kuwait-Iraq Friendship Society

full details

2003
Kuwait, Cairo

Trading

Strains from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet combine with echoes of Arab love stories, Qays Wa Layla, in this play conceived for and about young people in the Gulf

Written and Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam
A Zaoum Theatre production
Commissioned by The National Council for Youth and Sport, Kuwait

full details

2004
Kuwait

2003
Kuwait

Hamlet in Kuwait

A timely adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic, developed for presentation in Kuwait, Cultural Capital of the Arab World 2001, marking 10 years after the Gulf War and liberation from the Iraqi invasion. First part of the Arab Shakespeare trilogy which evolved into The Arab League Hamlet (premiered at Les Journées Théâtrales de Carthage, Tunisia) before evolving into The Al Hamlet Summit.

Written and Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam

full details

2001
Kuwait, Tunisia

The 60 Watt Macbeth

A hybrid theatre/live art installation presented in the Shunt Arches

Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam
A Zaoum Theatre production

full details

1999
London

The Game Show

A darkly satirical Game Show performed in an industrial warehouse

Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam
A Zaoum Theatre production
Commissioned by the National Theatre of Dijon, France

full details

1997
Dijon

Everyman (Dreaming in Car Parks)

A heady interactive promenade performance across three levels of multi-storey car parks, inspired by the medieval morality play Everyman

Directed by Sulayman Al Bassam
A Zaoum Theatre production

full details

1996
Edinburgh, London