World Premiere | Bahrain | Palestine

Shubbak Co-commission

Presented in partnership with the Bagri Foundation

A classic love story re-told by Amer Hlehel in a contemporary bilingual rendering with live music.

The actor and writer of five-star Taha (Shubbak 2017, Young Vic) transforms poet Qassim Haddad’s powerful rendering of the classic tale of Majnun Layla into a live experience. The story of love, passion, eroticism and unfulfilled desire, often described as the Arab Romeo and Juliet, is radically reinterpreted with an original soundscore and accompaniment from Rihab Azar and Kareem Samara on electronic and acoustic oud. Staying true to the sequence and emotional life of the poems, Hlehel moves between Arabic and English using Ferial Ghazoul and John Verlenden’s much-lauded translation, playing with rhythm, intonation and the particularities of both languages to bring out the universal qualities of this epic.

Qassim Haddad is a multi-award winning Bahraini poet. The English translation of Chronicles of Majnun Layla was published in 2014. Amer Hlehel is a Palestinian actor and writer, who has performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Court and Young Vic.

Produced by Alia Alzougbi. Presented in partnership with the Gate Theatre. Presented with additional support from Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, British Council and Drosos Foundation. Presented in Partnership with the Bagri Foundation.


Mon 1–Wed 3 July 2019


In English & Arabic with English Surtitles
Post-show talk 2 July


£24 | £16 concs | £12 Under 26
Contact the venue for tickets and further information
020 7229 0706

Gate Theatre

11 Pembridge Road
Notting Hill Gate
London W11 3HQ
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5 July | Bradford Literature Festival
On sale 12 April
7 July | Liverpool Arab Arts Festival