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

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SABAB THEATRE
S
ULAYMAN AL BASSAM


I M E D E A (in creation), 2020
Creation and Premiere rescheduled to June 2021.

Running time, 90 minutes
Performed in English and Arabic with surtitles


Co-producers: Naples International Festival, Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre (JACC) Kuwait, The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC), Dar al Athar al Islamiyyah (DAI), SABAB Theatre.


In this 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.



UR, 2015–18
Running time, 90 minutes
Performed in English and Arabic

Co-producers: Residenztheater, Munich; The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC); SABAB Theatre.
Inspired by the ancient Sumerian tablet, The Lamentation for the Destruction of the City of Ur, the first lamentation written for a city in the history of mankind. Evoking multiple timelines that stretch from 2000 BC to the ISIS destruction of Palmyra in 2015 and a utopian vision of a Middle East of the future, UR presents a riot of imagination and archeology exploring themes of iconoclasm, civic space and feminine apotheosis. First developed on the ancient island of Failaka, the play marks Al Bassam's first collaboration with German and Arab diaspora actors.



The Petrol Station, 2017
Running time, 95 minutes
Performed in English  

Co-producers: The Eisenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center,
NYU Gallatin School.

Drawing inspiration from Sumerian myth, Palestinian refugee literature and Americana iconography around the Gas Station; Petrol Station portrays a modern dystopia of wild, open spaces, where defunct ideologies, desperate migrants and opportunistic traffickers vie for supremacy and the unattainable body of a woman.

This production marks the first time that Al Bassam worked with a cast of actors who all identify as American: an experiment in allegory, further exploring questions of trans-cultural appropriation and identity politics.




In the Eruptive Mode, 2012-16
Running time, 65 minutes
Performed in English and Arabic

Premiere: The Sydney Festival (2012); Dar Al Athar Al Islammiyyah, Kuwait (2015).


A series of explosive monologues for female voices exploring the themes of violence and desire in the contemporary Arab world. Mocking, visceral and poetic, the performance creates a sound board of individuals caught in the convulsions of political and social change.

Created in two distinct iterations (2012 and 2015) the final production presents a new form of approach to scenic space in Al Bassam's first collaboration with award winning French Designer, Eric Soyer.



The Speaker’s Progress, 2011-12
Running time, 90 minutes
Performed in English and Arabic

Premiere: Brookly Academy of Music, New York, 2012



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. The closing volley of the internationally celebrated Arab Shakespeare Triolgy.

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