SABAB Theatre 

Sulayman Al Bassam




NEWS:
I M E D E A
Premiered at Journées Théâtrales de Carthage (JTC). Tunis (9 December 2021).

Coming Performances:
•    7,8 June, 2022- Arabisches Theatertreffen , Hannover, Germany.
•    2 July, 2022- Naples Festival, Naples, Italy.
•    27-30 October, 2022 Requiem for Justice Festival Mexico City, Mexico.
Istanbul, London, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, dates tbc soon!


Past performances:
  • Journées théâtrales de Carthage (JTC). Tunis (Le 4ème Art, 9 December 2021).
  •  Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre. Cairo (Hanager Arts Center, Opera House, 15-16 December 2021).
  • Beirut (Al Madina Theatre ,28-30 January 2022).
  • Kuwait (Yarmouk Cultural Centre - Dar al Athar al Islamiyyah, 26 March 2022)

Awards:
Sulayman Al Bassam, Best text award, Journées théâtrales de Carthage (JTC). Tunis 2021.
Hala Omran, Best actress award, Journées théâtrales de Carthage (JTC). Tunis 2021.
Eric soyer, Best scenography Award, Journées théâtrales de Carthage (JTC). Tunis 2021.
Hala Omran, Best actress award, Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre. Cairo 2021.

Co-producers: Naples International Festival, The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC), Dar al Athar al Islamiyyah (DAI), SABAB Theatre.


MUTE: New monologue exploring the unnerving power of silence. 

Publications:
The Arab Shakespeare Trilogy
Methuen Bloomsbury

UR
Oberon Books 

Petrol Station 
Oberon Books

The Mirror for Princes (Khalila Wa Dimna) 
Oberon Books








SABAB THEATRE
SULAYMAN AL BASSAM


The Icarus Cycle 
I M E D E A
Ur

The Border Cycle
Petrol Station 
In the Eruptive Mode

The Arab Shakespeare Trilogy
The Al Hamlet Summit        
     Richard III – An Arab Tragedy 
The Speaker’s Progress

Other works
Ritual for a Metamorphosis
Hayyal Bu Tair
A Mirror for Princes
Melting the Ice
Trading 
60 Watt Macbeth 
The Game Show 
Everyman

Information
Contact
News

SABAB THEATRE
S
ULAYMAN AL BASSAM


I M E D E A , 2021/22
Creation and Premiere rescheduled to June 2021.

Running time, 80 minutes
Performed in English and Arabic with surtitles

Performances:
-Premiered at Journées théâtrales de Carthage (JTC). Tunis (Le 4ème Art, 9 December 2021).

-Performed at Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre. Cairo (Hanager Arts Center, Opera House, 15-16 December 2021).

- Performed at Beirut (Al Madina Theatre ,28-30 January 2022).

- Kuwait (Yarmouk Cultural Centre - Dar al Athar al Islamiyyah, 26 March 2022)



Awards:
Sulayman Al Bassam, Best text award, Journées théâtrales de Carthage (JTC). Tunis 2021

Hala Omran, Best actress award, Journées théâtrales de Carthage (JTC). Tunis 2021

Eric soyer, Best scenography Award, Journées théâtrales de Carthage (JTC). Tunis 2021

Hala Omran, Best actress award, Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre. Cairo 2021

Co-producers: Naples International Festival, The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC), Dar al Athar al Islamiyyah (DAI), SABAB Theatre.


Press Dossier
Trailer



ABOUT:
In th is startling free adaptation of the Greek myth, Al Bassam draws on the eroding infrastructures of fact in a digital world, to re-imagine Medea for an era of tech-driven authoritarianism.  In this poetic and contemporary re-writing, Medea figures as an educated and outspoken Arab woman, with a powerful social media following who re-directs the tools of surveillance directed at her by the authoritarian state to re-enact the violence of history, accumulated over generations, inside the ranks of her family unit.


DIRECTOR'S NOTE:
In this free adaptation of the Greek myth, we draw on the eroding infrastructures of fact in a digital world to re-imagine the Medea for an era of tech-driven authoritarianism.

The text portrays Medea as an educated and outspoken Arab emigre, a post-colonial 'barbarian' subject, at deep odds with the contemporary world around her, driven to re-enact the violence of modernity within the realms of her own family unit.

Corinth is a dangerous littoral in which the fiercely secular public order is whipped into a frenzy of xenophobia by the arrival of migrants on small boats and the populist political agendas of its leader, Creon.

Jason is the aspirational outsider, who chooses to divorce Medea in order to secure advancement inside Corinth, by marrying the ruler's daughter.

It is within this vivid allegorical territory that Medea transforms her domestic troubles into a series of impassioned songs for an embattled minority.

Songs of discontent and injury that, when relayed to the communities of migrants, sequestered in camps on the edge of the city, become the rallying cry for an uprising with devastating consequences.

An initial draft of this text was developed during my fellowship on the Visiting Global Faculty Programme at The Gallatin School of Individualised Study, New York University, in 2017, during which I had the opportunity to teach my reading of this work alongside the marvellous Classics Professor, Laura Slatkin.

My decision to step into the scenic space and present myself as the author as part of the characters on stage, is a direct result of my thinking about the relationship between writing and acting during the period of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Contrary to the previous iteration of this production- that was much more operatic in scale- I chose to reduce the stage elements to their absolute minimum, in an exploration of minimalism, poetic density and abstraction.

As a result, the work is also an exploration of the biographical imaginary and the stage becomes a mirror of many layered stories.

As with previous productions, I continue to refuse nationalist boundaries by drawing together a talented team of actors and scenic artists from across the Arab World and beyond. I M E D E A is the second production in a trilogy of works inspired by ancient texts, following UR (2018).

 
Sulayman Al Bassam