Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Sulayman al-Bassam latest play in Kuwait

A new play by the director, Sulayman al Bassam, showed at the Dar al Athar al Islamiyah.
Inspired by the Shakespearian "Twelfth Night", it involved a plot about mistaken identity. Al Bassem added another of layer of confusion, with the play done today in a context of repressive system where music, gender proximity, dance, love, freedom of thought and freedom of speech are totally banned. Then al Bassam acts in the play as a reformed director trying to look back in the recent history, before the repressive system and digs up an old archive on a production of the "twelfth night" in the 60's. He then tries to reconstitute the production given the boundaries of the repressive system with a full fledge sarcastic, ironic twist.
Al Bassam is a maestro in plugging Kuwaiti traditional symbols with an arab context. He takes a classic and gives it a modern, arab, kuwaiti flair for a complete resonance to the current socio-political scene in Kuwait. The actors carry out the message with brio. The setting, decor and costumes are always in full harmony and complementing perfectly the play. His previous plays were "Richard the Third", "Romeo and Juliet" and many others. 
However, this time, the convoluted and added confusion on references to the repression were slightly overbearing. Al- Bassam must be really worried about repression and is trying to express an unease without unleashing real issues. He could do with a little more naked expression.

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