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BAM Harvey Theater
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Theater | Kuwait

Richard III: An Arab Tragedy

Tuesday, Jun 9th 7:30pm
Wednesday, Jun 10th 7:30pm
Thursday, Jun 11th 7:30pm
Friday, Jun 12th 7:30pm

$25, 35, 45

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.

Born in Kuwait in 1972, Sulayman Al-Bassam graduated from Edinburgh University and went on to found Zaoum Theatre in London in 1996. Sabab Theatre is the Arabic arm, established in Kuwait in 2002. Led by Al-Bassam and working alongside mixed groups of Arab and Western performers, the company's work challenges, questions and celebrates the complex relationship between the Arab world and the West.

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Video: Richard III

In Sulayman Al-Bassam's groundbreaking adaptation, a dictator's bloody rise to power in an oil-rich kingdom becomes an allegory of our own times.

Multimedia Exclusive: Behind Richard III

In this New York Times multimedia exclusive, listen in as director Sulayman Al-Bassam draws us into the process of bringing Richard III to the Arab stage.