Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

'Hamasat': an online performance in support of Beirut's devastated theatre scene

The show will feature a series of monologues performed by established Lebanese actors, including Oscar-nominated director and actress Nadine Labaki

George Khabbaz, left, and Nadine Labaki are among the actors taking part in 'Whispers' directed by Lina Abiad. @Whispers / Instagram
George Khabbaz, left, and Nadine Labaki are among the actors taking part in 'Whispers' directed by Lina Abiad. @Whispers / Instagram

A group of distinguished Lebanese playwrights, directors and actors have come together for an online performance with the purpose of reviving Beirut's theatre scene, which has been struggling amidst a political and economic crisis recently hit harder by the Beirut port explosion in August.

Taking place at 10pm UAE time on Saturday, November 7, Hamasat (Whispers) will feature a series of monologues performed by established Lebanese actors including Oscar-nominated Nadine Labaki, Georges Khabbaz, Nada Abou Farhat, Bernadette Hodeib, Talal El Jurdi, Badih Abou Chakra and Dory Al Samrany, among others.

Hamasat is directed by Lebanese stage director and professor Lina Abyad. The event will be streamed on YouTube from The Black Box performing arts centre in Beirut.

A number of British playwrights – including Geraldine Brennan, Mike Elliston, Kim Hardy, Angela Harvey, John Jesper and Kate Webster – also threw their support behind the initiative, writing monologues that will be performed at the show.

“Excited that one of my solo works, Me Time, will soon be translated into Arabic to be performed at a fundraiser for theatre in Beirut,” Brennan said. “If we think UK theatre is in a bad way, trust me, since last month’s explosion destroying most theatres in Beirut, artists in Lebanon have it worse.”

The show's organisers wrote on Instagram that places such as Gemmayze, Mar Mikhael and Achrafieh, which are home to many of Beirut's theatres and cultural spaces have witnessed the most damage following the blast.

“Many talented theatre directors, producers and actors have endured significant financial hardships and personal losses due to the blast and may be forced to withhold their artistic contributions in the industry due to their current challenging circumstances.”

All proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the rehabilitation of Beirut’s theatre scene.

To purchase tickets to the show, visit antoineticketing.com

Updated: November 8, 2020 11:48 AM

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