Coverage of Al-Bassam’s Speaker’s Progress in New York

Very favorable New York Times review of the New York performance of The Speaker’s Progress at BAM last week; Al-Bassam’s own “wonderfully dry performance” gets special praise.  In Richard III he played an implausibly slick and charming U.S. Ambassador (later edited out to make room for Mister Richmond in the US performances); now he has switched sides, playing an Arab director and performing in Arabic (at least in the draft of the script I saw). 

 A brief write-up an audio interview with Jeffrey Brown of PBS’ NewsHour, who also did a long segment on Al-Bassam when his Richard III: An Arab Tragedy played Washington and New York in 2009.  The first segment’s headline had Al-Bassam “take inspiration” from Shakespeare; the current one has him “taking inspiration” from the Arab Spring.  And there is something to this: it does seem that the source text Twelfth Night plays a relatively insignificant role in the logic of Al-Bassam’s new play — it could have been any other play, or even another type of iconic performance.  Whereas his Hamlet was really a Hamlet.  This is not a criticism.

These things are being posted on SABAB Theatre’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/sababtheatre/

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