21 Jun - 17 Jul 2021 / From 10:00
21 Jun - 17 Jul 2021 / From 10:00
By Collective Ma’louba
Suitable for ages 16+
Tickets: £0, £5, £15 (plus option to donate £5). Performed in Arabic with English subtitles
Part of Shubbak Festival 2021. Co-presented by Counterpoints Arts as part of this year’s Refugee Week programme.
A collective of German-based Syrian actors is rehearsing a contemporary adaptation of Georg Büchner’s Danton’s Death. A shattering, political drama, at its centre is a conflict between two giant figures of the French Revolution, Danton and Robespierre.
It is considered to be one of the greatest revolutionary works of European theatre. It is also terribly complex and convoluted, and the translation into Arabic from the German isn’t particularly good.
The company’s director believes this adaptation of a German classic will secure them funding. But the playwright turned dramaturg was more keen on writing a new play about the everyday lives of Syrian refugees living abroad.
As the company wrestles with Büchner’s manically intense play, life mirrors art as the two lead actors are caught up in the arguments between the writer and director.
Between catastrophic line runs and overlong cigarette breaks, the four lock horns about their conflicted views on the Syrian revolution and their roles as artists in exile.
Rehearsals progress and the tensions and disagreements grow as the company – almost unknowingly – engage more deeply with the themes of the play: What is a revolution? When does it end? Ten years after the Syrian revolution, do they really understand what happened and how they can tell their story?
Return of Danton is a new play by Syrian playwright Mudar Alhaggi and directed by Omar Elerian. Written and performed in Arabic, the play is a contemporary exploration of how the dynamics of political revolutions – from the French Revolution to the Arab Spring – can be reflected within the politics of the rehearsal room.
Collective Ma’louba is an intercultural theatre lab currently in residence at the Theater an der Ruhr in Mülheim. In its theatre productions, Collective Ma’louba questions the political and social conditions of the Arab world against the background of recent rebellions and penetrates the taboos of Arab and European society.
Co-presented by Shubbak Festival, Counterpoint Arts, The Lowry & Ettijahat Independent Culture. In cooperation with Maxim Gorki Theatre, Berlin. A co-production of Theater an der Ruhr and Shubbak Festival. Funded by The German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia.
#ReturnOfDanton #Shubbak #ShubbakFestival #ArabCulture #ArabFestival #ContemporaryArabCulture
Collective Ma’louba is an intercultural theatre lab currently in residence at the Theater an der Ruhr in Mülheim. In its theatre productions, Collective Ma’louba questions the political and social conditions of the Arab world against the background of recent rebellions and penetrates the taboos of Arab and European society. Further artistic projects of thematic relevance such as installations, exhibitions, concerts and workshop accompany the theatre productions. They work in NRW, Germany and across the world, thus creating transnational meeting places. Follow the Collective’s via Facebook and Instagram.
Mudar Alhaggi (Author)
Mudar Alhaggi (*1981) studied theatre studies at The Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damaskus. Alhaggi works as an author and dramaturge, he writes for the radio and TV, pens scripts and leads writing workshops for refugees. He staged “Footfalls” by Samuel Beckett and the production “One Thousand and One Tents”, which was developed in a workshop with refugees in Lebanon. In 2013 the production “Now T-Here“, in which he was involved as author and director (in collaboration with Stella Cristofolini) was presented in Oberhausen and Berlin. Since 2015 he manages “Future Stages. A Creative Programme for Emerging Syrian Writers” in Lebanon together with Erik Altorfer. In 2015 and 2016 he developed “41 Stunden” with Kopp / Nauer / Praxmarer / Vittinghoff, a coproduction with Schlachthaus Theater Bern. With Erik Altorfer, he presented another work with adolescent refugees and young people from Graz at Schauspielhaus Graz. Mudar Alhaggi lives in Berlin since summer 2015. Since 2017 he is the artistic director of COLLECTIVE MA’LOUBA.
Omar Elerian (Director)
Omar Elerian is a freelance theatre director, writer and dramaturg. Of Italian/Palestinian descent, Omar trained in Italy and then graduated from Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris in 2005. He’s based in London since 2009. He was the resident Associate Director at the Bush Theatre from 2012 to 2019, where he commissioned and directed some of the theatre’s most successful shows. As sole director for the Bush, his credits include smash-hit Misty by Arinzé Kene (Bush and West End), NASSIM by Nassim Soleimanpour (Bush, Traverse Theatre and world tour), Going Through by Estelle Savasta and Islands by Caroline Horton. As Associate Director working alongside Madani Younis, his credits include The Royale by Marco Ramirez, Leave Taking by Winsome Pinnock and Perseverance Drive by Robin Soans. Outside the Bush, he directed Olivier nominated show You’re Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy by Caroline Horton and co-created acclaimed sitespecific show The Mill: City of Dreams with Madani Younis for Freedom Studios. In 2020 he co-created Autoreverse with Florencia Cordeu, which opened the Going Global season at Battersea Arts Centre in February. Omar is currently developing projects with the Almeida, National Theatre, Manchester HOME, Staatstheater Mainz, Collective Ma’louba and The Shed in New York.
Shubbak Festival is the UK’s premier festival of contemporary Arab arts and culture.
This year’s ambitious programme connects you to the very best contemporary Arab artists. Dive into marathon DJ sets, watch Hip Hop, rap and trap legends, enjoy re-imagined classics, installations in iconic settings, and listen as audio guided tours take you to an imaginary city.
Shubbak is live in London, online and broadcasting from Beirut, Gaza, Marrakech, Slemani, Riyadh, Khartoum and Doha. Join artists, audiences and communities locally and globally through a festival programme that has been conceived especially for this year’s exceptional conditions.
Witness the extraordinary creativity, responsiveness and imaginative power of Arab artists to speak of our times. Join the Festival from 20th June – 17th July, 2021! Follow the action via @shubbakfestival.
21 Jun - 17 Jul 2021