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music theatre French Premiere





Egyptian artist and filmmaker Wael Shawky presents a story-like musical and theatrical experience performed in Arabic by 20 singers and dancers, transposing the medieval epic the Song of Roland into a dreamlike Arabian setting.


Wael Shawky has made his name reinterpreting seminal texts, in particular in Marseille in 2013 with his film trilogy inspired by Amin Maalouf’s story Cabaret crusades. He now presents his first stage piece at the Festival. In a set made up of hundreds of tiny objects representing the cities of Aleppo, Baghdad and Istanbul, Wael Shawky invites singers of fidjeri, the traditional music of Persian Gulf pearl fishers, to revisit the Song of Roland. Based on this eleventh-century text recounting an episode of Charlemagne’s battle against the Saracens, Wael Shawky reverses the West’s often stereotyped attitude to the East, intertwining myth, history, literature, and storytelling techniques borrowed from several different cultures.


Performance presented in co-realisation with the Mucem and in collaboration with Kampnagel, Hamburg and Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris
Performance within the "Sommet des Deux Rives"


Practical information


Duration 60'

Performance in Arabic, with French surtitles

Where ? Mucem-Place d'Armes du Fort Saint-Jean

For The Song of Roland :

Entrance "Panier" : parvis de l’église Saint-Laurent

tel. 04 84 35 13 13

Metro - 1 stop Vieux-Port or 2 stop Joliette
Bus - 82, 82s, 60, 49, stop Littoral Major
ou Fort Saint-Jean
Tram - 2 stop République-Dames ou Joliette
Bike - terminals n° 2179, quai du Port
- n° 2031, Joliette - n° 2210, esplanade du J4



Full price 30 €
Concession, under 26 18 €

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Conception, direction artistique et scénographie Wael Shawky Aide à la direction artistique Hashem Alalawi, Giorgio Benotto (plateau) Avec Juma Yousif Jumaja Almukaini Aljneibi, Abdulla Lashkarieid Mohammad, Fahed Omar Abdulla Heba Marzouq, Mohamed Anwar Ali Jasim Ahmed, 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 Direction technique et création lumière Sergio Pessanha Direction de production Stefan Scheuermann Création sonore et régie Kay Engert Crédit photo Janto Djassi

Production Kampnagel (Hambourg) Coproduction Theater der Welt (2017, Hambourg) ; Sharjah Art Foundation ; Holland Festival (Amsterdam) ; Onassis Cultural Centre (Athènes) ; Theater Spektakel (Zürich) Soutien Federal Agency for Civic Education with support for rehearsals in Bahrain through Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities


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