- Artistic Team and Cast
Concept, Direction and Design Wael Shawky
Artistic Assistence Hashem Alalawi
Stage Assistence Giorgio Benotto
Technical Management and Lighting Design Sergio Pessanha
Artistic Production Management Stefan Scheuermann, Henning Mues
Sound Technician Kay Engert
With Juma Yousif Jumaja Almukaini Aljneibi, Abdulla Lashkarieid Mohammad, Fahed Omar Abdulla Heba Marzouq, Juma Aashir Almarashda, Matar Jasim Malalla Binnabhan AlMarzooqi, Mohamed Ali Khamis Alashar Almarshada, Anwar Ali Jasim Ahmed, Khaled Ali Mohamed Aljaffal, Yusuf Khamis Sbait Mubarak Alfarsi, Ali Husain Ahmed Husain Altamimi, Shawqi Abdulla Sabt Saud, Saad Ahmed Mohamed Aljaffal, Khaled Saad Salem Rashed, Ahmed Saleh Mohamed Alshabaan, Ahmed Abdulla Juma Farhan, Idrees Rabeea Idreses Bakheet, Ismaeel Mohamed Mesfer Saad, Faraj Mohamed Mesfer Saad, Yaqoob Ali Mohamed Bujaffal, Isa Ali Mohamed Aljaffal
Production Kampnagel Hamburg
Co-productionTheater der Welt 2017, Sharjah Art Foundation, Holland Festival,
Onassis Cultural Centre Athens, Theaterspektakel Zürich
Funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education with support for rehearsals in Bahrain
through Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities
Wael Shawky lives and works in Alexandria. He is one of the most celebrated artists from the Middle East who has gained international recognition for his works which trace the history of the Crusades through a Middle Eastern lens. Shawky frames contemporary culture through the lens of historical tradition and vice versa. Mixing truth and fiction, childlike wonder and spiritual doctrine, Shawky has staged epic recreations of the medieval clashes between Muslims and Christians in his trilogy of puppets and marionettes.
Ever since Wael Shawky presented his Cabaret Crusades at the dOCUMENTA (13) and the MoMA, the Egyptian artist has been regarded as a star in the international art world. With marionettes he told the story of the crusades from an Arab point of view – as a brutal, martial fight for economic and political interests. In his production of The Song of Roland, one of the most famous medieval epic poems in European cultural history, Shawky once again shows an extraordinary change of perspective. These bloodthirsty verses, which were originally written in Old French and tell of Charlemagne’s campaigns against the Islamic Saracens, are presented here in an Arabic version by twenty fidjeri singers. Their rhythmic vocal music originated around the same time as The Song of Roland and is rooted in the culture of the Arabian pearl divers. The result is a disturbing play with seemingly certain historical facts and cultural identity that opens up new interpretations of highly topical issues such as Islamophobia and extremism.