Read the New York Times review.
In an oil-rich kingdom, a dictator’s bloody rise to power becomes an allegory of our own times in Richard III: An Arab Tragedy, Kuwaiti director Sulayman Al-Bassam’s groundbreaking remake of Shakespeare’s Machiavellian masterpiece.
Grainy TV confessions, sophisticated propaganda, and a wealth of Arabic music and ritual lend themes of leadership, religion, and foreign intervention an uncanny relevance, turning this classic play into a cautionary contemporary tale.
Following the June 11th performance Al-Bassam was joined by Margaret Litvin, a specialist in modern Arabic drama and political culture from Boston University, in a discussion on how he came to re-imagine Shakespeare's 16th century tale of naked power and corruption in a twenty-first century Arab context.
Read more about this fascinating interpretation of a classic, and its broader implications, in the essay Sulayman Al-Bassam in the Arab Shakespeare Tradition by Margaret Litvin of Boston University.
This work was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the Complete Works Festival. Support for Richard III: An Arab Tragedy is provided by Zain.