Yvette Khoury on Akhir Yom

Akhir Yom (The Last Day): A Localized Arabic Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Yvette K. Khoury
theatre research international · vol. 33 no. 1 pp 52–69
International Federation for Theatre Research 2008

Abstract:

This paper is an exploration of the 2004 Arabic adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet , which premiered in Casino du Liban in Beirut. The Last Day was created by Oussama al-Rahbani, who also composed the musical scores. The play shows how local Shakespeares resonate with the wider global field of study, which in turn echo East–West cultural interactions. The Last Day challenges our perception of the Other in Arabic drama as it questions intraculturalism within the conflict-ravaged Middle East. It prompts us to ask how we should address local Shakespeares in a global context, and how local knowledge illuminates our understanding of Shakespeare’s reception. This paper emphasizes the fluidity of the field of Shakespearean studies and the instability of East–West cultural divides.

An earlier version was given at the VII World Shakespeare Congress in Brisbane, 2006.