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Sulayman Al-Bassam

SULAYMAN AL-BASSAM

  (1972 - )

Nationality:    Kuwaiti
email:    Click here to contact     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    n/a

Writes and directs his own work in English and arabic, based in Kuwait since 2002, his work has been translated into 5 languages and is presented internationally. awarded: Kuwait State Arts encouragement award (2004); Edinburgh Fringe First award (2002). Director of Sulayman al-Bassam Theatre, an international group of Theatre practitioners, musicians and visual artists, dedicated to the production of challenging and innovative Theatre.

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below is a list of Sulayman Al-Bassam's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        Al-Hamlet Summit, The         Game Show, The         In the Eruptive Mode         Kalila Wa Dimna, or, The Mirror For Princes         Petrol Station         Richard Ill: An Arab Tragedy         Speaker's Progress, The         Trading



Al-Hamlet Summit, The

Al-Hamlet Summit, The
the al-Hamlet Summit is a loose adaptation of Shakespeares Hamlet and a remarkable piece of twenty-first century theatre set in the cauldron of Middle-eastern discontent. Having gained control of a modern arab state, a ruthless dictator attempts a westernised experiment in thrall to arms dealers and propped up by U.S. dollars. Yet a catastrophic war is brewing, he is besieged by enemy neighbours from without and a growing Islamic extremism from within, whilst his predecessor's son, Hamlet, is plotting revenge. al-Bassam's Summit is Hamlet boldly re-imagined as pure, deadly politics. This edition includes an introduction by Professor Graham Holderness and is illustrated throughout with performance stills from al-Bassam's internationally award-winning 2004 production of the play.

Notes:
Published: theatre Forum, USA, January, 2000

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Zaoum Theatre, Uk; the Sulayman al-Bassam Theatre Company, Kuwait

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Political theatre Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Game Show, The

Synopsis:
Formulation of the nature of death in a society of leisure: a televised game show, where the contestant wins the car he died in

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Theatre En Mai, Theatre Nationale De Dijon Bourgogne, France     1997

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Satire

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  1            Other:  doubling

Further Reference:
-

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In the Eruptive Mode

Synopsis:
Created by celebrated Kuwaiti writer/director Sulayman Al-Bassam, In the eruptive Mode responds with rawness and immediacy to the promised hope of the Arab Spring and to the seismic shifts changing the face of todays Middle east. A series of eight short scenes explore the themes of state violence and individual freedom in the modern Arab world. This production reveals the survival tactics, hopes and desires of individuals caught up in the convulsions of change. these keenly observed life affirming monologues embrace the challenges of renewal and for Al-Bassam, invite the possibility of a new Dramatic genre: contemporary Arab tragedy.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
York Theatre, Seymour Centre, Chippendale     08 Jan 2013

Organisations:
Sydney festival 2013, Sabab Theatre Kuwait (UK)

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
60 min scenes

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Kalila Wa Dimna, or, The Mirror For Princes

Synopsis:
Based on the fables Kalila wa Dimna, one of the masterpieces of eastern culture. Intended originally as a book of Council for Kings, literally, a 'mirror' for princes, these subtle and philosophical animal fables carry immense significance to all sections of arab and Persian society, until this day. From India, via Persia, the tales reached the arab world through the pen of Ibn al-Muqaffa, court scribe, wit, and radical reformer. the production locates Ibn al-Muqaffa's work in its original historical context - Iraq circa 750 aD and the dawn of the abbasid revolution - one of the most turbulent moments in Islamic history, and an age with all too many parallels to our own.

Notes:
UK premiere presented by Sulayman Al-Bassam theatre As part of bite06 At the Pit theatre, Barbican, London 0n 10 May 2006.

1st Produced:
Tokyo International Arts Festival, Japan     2006

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Historical epic Historical

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  1            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Petrol Station

Petrol Station
A desert. A border. A remote petrol station within earshot of civil war. This vividly imagined twilit zone provides the background for a familial standoff in which the crimes, secrets, and broken loves of one generation make violent claims on the lives of the next as two half-brothers vie for favours and allegiance from their aging father. Examining themes of identity, ambition, and betrayal, this compelling drama from acclaimed Kuwaiti writer/director Sulayman Al Bassam uses the iconic setting of the deserted petrol station as a poetic space to explore the oppressions and aspirations of the Gulf Arab Region.

Notes:
Al Bassam, a New York University Artist-in-Residence, returns following his highly regarded presentation of Richard III: An Arab Tragedy during the Kennedy Center international festival, Arabesque, in 2009. His provocative new story draws inspiration from Sumerian myth, Palestinian refugee literature, and American 1950s urban legends of the gas station to portray a modern dystopia where defunct ideologies, desperate migrants, zealous warlords, and opportunistic traffickers vie for supremacy.

1st Produced:
Eisenhower Stage of the Kennedy Centre, Washington DC     24 Mar 2017

Organisations:
SABAB Theatre

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2017) >>>    978-1786821492

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  1            Other:  voice

Further Reference:
-

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Richard Ill: An Arab Tragedy

Richard Ill: An Arab Tragedy
this engrossing arabic adaptation of Richard III, which comes all the way from Kuwait, and isjampacked with multimedia interventions and theatrical display that can be both exhilarating and distracting. Translated into what I instantly recognised as a mix of classical arabic and more modern colloquial forms, Sulaymanal-Bassam's adaptation makes evil Richard of Gloucester the aspirant king of a Middle eastern peninsula. Backed by foreign interests, in the form of a French Buckingham, he falls out with them once he has grasped control of the crown. eventually, his tyrannical behaviour leaves him open to an external invasion backed by dissident internal forces.

Notes:
Original Playwright - Shakespeare. Arabic Translation by Mehdi Al-Sayigh

1st Produced:

Organisations:
the Culture Project (Kuwait) and Sulayman al-Bassam Theatre

1st Published:
published in French - Richard III: une tragedie arabe (Paris: L'avant-scene theatre, 2008)
in "The Arab Shakespeare Trilogy", Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, London (2014)>>>    978-1472526489

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
adaptation Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  4            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Speaker's Progress, The

Speaker's Progress, The
a condemned 1960s staging of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night has become the focal point for political resistance blogs and underground social network movements. the state, eager to suppress this dangerous mixture of nostalgia and dissent, commissions the Speaker, a once-radical theater producer now turned regime apologist, to mount a forensic reconstruction and public denunciation of the work. as the Speaker and his group of non acting volunteers delve deeper into the "reconstruction" they find themselves increasingly engaged with the material they are supposed to be condemning. they soon discover - in the act of performance and the growing participation of their audience - a solidarity that transforms the gathering itself into an unequivocal act of defiance towards the state.
- nytheatre.com

Notes:
conceived by Geogina Van Welie and Sulayman Al Bassam

1st Produced:
Bam Harvey Theatre, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217     06 Oct 2011

Organisations:
SABAB Theatre

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
piece

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Trading

Synopsis:
Parallel-tastic! It is always a pleasure to see what new situations our Bard's stuff can be applied to.
Kieron Quirke, evening Standard

Notes:
It was conceived As A play for And About young people, commissioned by the National Council for Youth And Sport in Kuwait And performed in Arabic by A team of young Kuwaiti Actors

1st Produced:
Gulf Youth Theatre Festival     2003

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Tragi-comedy Tragedy

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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