Award-winning Qatari play “Me…You… The Human” will feature at the Shubbak festival, London’s first ever celebration of contemporary culture from across the Arab world.
Organised by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, the festival will encompass over 70 events, in more than 30 key cultural venues throughout the city for three weeks from July 4 to 24, 2011.
“London is a global city in which Arab culture has played a significant part over the centuries. This festival is a unique chance for Londoners to glimpse the breadth and excellence of contemporary Arab culture and its influence on London’s cultural scene today. At a time of remarkable political and social change, Shubbak marks an exciting moment between artists in the capital and across the Arab world,” said Boris Johnson.
Through Gulf Stage the digital film production of the award-winning Qatari play will be featured in the festival on July 15. Gulf Stage is a collaboration between the British Council, UK specialist company Digital Theatre, Qatar’s Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and Qatar Foundation. It features original theatre productions in Arabic that were captured by Digital Theatre during the Gulf Co-operation Countries Youth Theatre Festival in Doha in October 2010.
Gulf Stage is one of two Qatar representatives in the festival.
Digital Theatre used the latest technology in remote operated high-definition cameras allied to close collaboration with the plays’ original creative teams to authentically capture the atmosphere and feeling of the original theatre production. All productions were subtitled in English to enhance their accessibility to international audiences
Khalid Al Mulla, Head of Youth Department at the Qatar Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage said: “Gulf Stage captures the emotion and spirit of live contemporary theatre in the Middle East for the first time, and we are very happy that through this cutting edge technology, the Qatari play will be participating in Shubbak Festival.”
“It’s very rewarding to see our efforts taken forward and featured in the other part of the world; we work to reflect the theatre scene in the Gulf, to strengthen the understanding and open channels of dialogue through advanced technology. We would be happy to work on further collaborations with UK and other parts of the world that nurtures young gulf talents and creates opportunities for knowledge exchange,” said Hafiz Ali, Arts Program Manager, Qatar Foundation.
The social media campaign supporting the project has enabled the content generated by Gulf Stage to be shared on different social media platforms, opening up a rich cultural conversation on a global level.
Simon Winetroube, British Council Qatar Director, said “Digital Theatre Company possess great expertise in using this new technology, but the success of Gulf stage depended on the strong relationship of understanding and trust which developed between Digital Theatre and the various theatre companies from the Gulf.
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