Broken Wings, a new major musical written by Lebanese actor and composer Nadim Naaman and Qatari composer Dana Al Fardan, is likely to be staged in Doha next year.
An adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s 1912 autobiographical poetic novel of the same title, Broken Wings marked a sold-out premiere in London’s West End in August this year.
“It is a fully staged musical which we premiered in London earlier in the year at a week-long performance in Theatre Royal Haymarket in West End and we are now beginning the process of organising an international tour next year. Dana is from Qatar so we want to bring it to Doha, that’s why we are here this week to showcase some of the music and meet the right people, and hopefully we can bring the show here next year,” Nadim, who also leads the cast, told The Peninsula.
Nadim was speaking on the eve of a performance of songs from the musical organised as part of the ongoing Qatar British Festival which he says was a perfect template for this project.
“What the show does is promote the culture of the West and the Middle East because it’s about a Middle Eastern icon, Kahlil Gibran, and was written by a Qatari and a Lebanese but was created in the West. That was sort of Gibran’s life, he moved to America when he was 12, he was Middle Eastern but he was also from the West as well,” he said.
Gibran is considered the third best-selling poet of all time known in the English-speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet written in poetic English prose.
“Gibran is not only loved by the Lebanese and the Middle Easterners but by many people like in North America where he sold the most copies of 10 million books,” he said, adding they plan to bring the show in various parts of the world starting in the Middle East.
“We are going to bring the show in six or seven cities where we are in talks with to have the shows produced, but we are also targeting countries with big Middle Eastern communities such as US, Canada, Australia and Europe,” he said.
Two years in the making, Broken Wings follows an ageing Gibran in 1923 New York reflecting on his life as an 18-year-old back in the Middle East where he falls in love with Selma Karamy, daughter of family friend, who was soon betrothed to another man, thus Gibran has to fight for her love.
“We were curious how it would be received but I think the story and the themes of the story are so universal. It’s about family. It’s about love. It’s about your relationship with your society and how going through life you have to choose between going with your heart or going with what society expects of you. These are also things that happen today, a hundred years later all over the world, so I think people realize that although maybe beforehand they have never heard of Broken Wings or Kahlil Gibran, there are lots of things in this story that they can relate to,” he said.
“People should watch the show because it reveals plenty about Gibran himself and how he came to be the poet. It is an opportunity for Middle Eastern audiences to see a show about their heritage, about their region, about a literary hero of the region which I think should be celebrated,” he ended.