Thursday, February 22, 2007


"The sorrows of winter have given way to the lazy warmth of spring"

Thus the Arabic version of the winter of discontent in Sulayman al-Bassam's Arab tragedy, a wonderfully political version of the play set in the Middle East. A strong cast, with a particularly good Catesby, clever use of music, television footage and emails gave a modern menace to the production. "They know how to play history,these British" got an apologetic laugh from the audience; and the Arabs, in another sense, can play history too. It is an ironic comment on the Middle East political situation that this production will not be seen there.

Dominic Cavendish wrote in The Daily Telegraph,

"For the gripping two-hour duration.. we see not dukes, earls and queens but turbaned sheikhs and women in burkas. We hear not alarums but strange beguiling ululations. Shakespeare's language comes to us as though through secret service intercept: in Arabic, with surtitles"

Personal Star Rating [out of five] ***


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