Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s poems come to stage

Al Faris (The Knight) is inspired by poems on loyalty, love, humanity, courage and leadership from Sheikh Mohammed and will be brought to the stage by Brand Dubai and Rahbani Productions from January 6 to 9.

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Nabati poetry penned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, will become a musical theatrical spectacular at the Dubai World Trade Centre next month.

Al Faris (The Knight) is inspired by poems on loyalty, love, humanity, courage and leadership from Sheikh Mohammed and will be brought to the stage by Brand Dubai and Rahbani Productions from January 6 to 9.

Al Faris is a tale of a saviour determined to keep his people safe and create a better world, while at the same time trying to save his beloved from hooligans.

Lebanese singer and theatre actor Ghassan Saliba plays Al Faris and Emirati soprano Balqees Fathi debuts as a theatre actor with the role of Shomoos, the lover.

Creators said the production set out to establish Dubai as a cultural hub in the Arab world.

“Culture and heritage are deeply rooted in the city,” said Salem Belyouha, the director of media services at Dubai Media Office and production manager.

“We are trying to emphasise that cultural background and have teamed up with theatre icons in the Middle East to create this production,” he said.

Composers Marwan, Ghady and Oussama Rahbani used oriental music and an orchestra to back the poems that were sung in the Emirati dialect and pre-recorded for the show.

Desert scenes from the emirate were shot to add a multimedia element to the production, which was put together in six months, with more than 100 singers and dancers and an 800-strong crew.

“It’s a love story that swings between love and kindness and bad and good,” Ghady said.

“But we want to say that the knight in our musical is not Sheikh Mohammed and the city is not Dubai. This is a fantasy place we have created with a dramatic script and our music.”

aahmed@thenational.ae