Abu Dhabi Festival Plus Bringing Shakespeare to life


While doing my Masters in Literary Studies, I always cringed when an assignment on popular classics came my way. But as I grew older and wiser, they grew on me… mostly due to the influence of living with Eric who as a stage actor loves performing classics and it looks like NJD is going that route too since her video of emulating Juliet has been a hit amongst friends.

So lo and behold, I am now a fan of Shakespeare (when I really should have been a fan while I was studying him). Naturally then it was delightful to hear of Midsummer Night’s Dream reinvigorating a Love of Shakespeare across UAE as the UK Theatre Company returned to the Abu Dhabi Festival 2012 with a specially commissioned production of the play.

The mesmerising performance at the packed Abu Dhabi Theatre held its audience in awe, as the actors played out one of Shakespeare’s most imaginative plays. As part of Abu Dhabi Festival’s education program, the interactive play breathes new life into this amazingly clever and classic Midsummer Night’s Dream and its cast of mortals, mechanicals and fairies is packed with dazzling poetry and sparkling comedy.

Her Excellency Mrs Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival thought the Director, Buckhurst and his talented cast did a superb job and delivered a powerful and passionate performance. A popular and enduring comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream features three interlocking plots set simultaneously in the woodland, and in the realm of fairyland under the light of the moon. The story, mixed with mortals, a feuding king and queen, magical practical jokes, love affairs and characters transformed in the most unlikely ways, danced across the delightfully constructed stage.

The Festival continues its commitment to showcasing the very best of the arts, with a schedule combining classical music, theatre and performing arts, jazz, ballet and fine arts until the 6th of April. The programme crosses cultures and explores the past, present and future of artistic expression.

Interesting acts to watch for would be Naseer Shamma and Global Ensemble. The ensemble will perform on the 24th of this month, and a unique fusion of music of the Spanish guitar, oud, percussion, upright bass, clarinet, harp and piano will transcend genres and blend influences. The act is an Abu Dhabi Festival Commission and World Premiere event.

There will also be an Emirati flavoured adaptation of the well-known Restoration comedy, The Rivals, by Richard Sheridan by Abu Dhabi based Resuscitation Theatre. Not to miss as well would be Arab musician Ibrahim Latoof and Riwaq Al Fikr, Royal Opera House’s production of Beloved Friend and SUTRA: a stunning blend of Kung Fu, Tai Chi and contemporary dance bough by the illustrious Sadler’s Well Theatre in London and feature 17 monks of the Shaolin temple in China. I cant wait to see this…i reckon its worth a journey into Abu Dhabi to get a glimpse of SUTRA.

The dynamic team at The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) have done an amazing job in their bid to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and the advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision.

ADMAF’s broad programme of initiatives and events – including the Abu Dhabi Festival and the Young Media Leaders, The Nationals’ Gallery and The Artists’ Studio among many others – brings together audiences of all ages and nationalities. Through its educational and community programmes, it nurtures the creative talent of the UAE and beyond, in partnership with leading national and international institutions….how cool is that?

London’s Globe Theater Brings Love of Shakespeare to Abu Dhabi - IMAGE BY ADMAF

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