A new musical, Broken Wings, an autobiographical tale of tragic love based on Lebanese-born poet Kahlil Gibran’s 1912 masterpiece, is to get its West End premiere. Tickets.
Written by West End star Nadim Naaman (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dana Al Fardan, one of The Middle East’s leading contemporary composers, Broken Wings, will premiere as a semi-staged production with 9-piece orchestra, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from August 1 - 4.
Press night is Thursday August 2 at 7.30pm
New York City, 1923. An ageing Gibran narrates from his cold studio. Through poetry and music, he transports us back two decades and across continents, to turn-of-the-century Beirut. His 18-year-old self returns to The Middle East after five years living in America, to complete his education and discover more of his heritage. He falls deeply in love with Selma Karamy, the daughter of family friend and hugely respected local businessman, Farris Karamy. However, Selma soon becomes betrothed to Mansour Bey Galib, nephew of the powerful Bishop Bulos Galib, who has his eye on the Karamy family fortune. Gibran and Selma fight to reconcile their love for one another, whilst navigating the rules, traditions and expectations that society lays on them.
Writer Kahlil Gibran, whose seminal work The Prophet was an interational best-seller, remains the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi. What inspired him to write? And what moved him to such profound philosophy in his later life? The events in Broken Wings highlight key social issues of the time - the fight for gender equality, the freedom to love who we love, tradition versus modernity, wealth versus happiness, immigration and the importance of ‘home’ - yet these themes are increasingly relevant today, over a century later.
Cast to be announced.
This moving new musical is directed by Bronagh Lagan, with orchestrations by Joe Davison.
Nadim Naaman said: “Kahlil Gibran is the Shakespeare of The Middle East, and the third best-selling poet of all time. His views transcend nationality, politics and background, read by all faiths and all ages. He was spiritual, but wouldn’t dedicate his life to one particular organisation of religion. Instead, he took the best of all faiths, championing humanity, tolerance and love above all else. I still can’t believe that the book hasn’t already been adapted for the stage; it is structured like a play, and is awash with musical references. Much like Kahlil Gibran’s life, the creation of this show has been a fusion of both The Middle East and The West, so to be presenting this piece in London, at the stunning Theatre Royal Haymarket, is both fitting and overwhelming.”
Dana Al Fardan
Dana Al Fardan said: “Kahlil Gibran felt strongly about the universal language of music, often referring to it as the language of the soul. Our musical aims to offer the audience a deeper understanding of both Gibran’s work and the man behind it. We hope it will be both enjoyable and enlightening.”
A Broken Wings concept album featuring an all-star cast will be released on Thursday 10 May.
The cast is headed by Rob Houchen (Les Misérables, Titanic) and Hiba Elchikhe (Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin) as teenage protagonists Gibran and Selma, with composer Nadim Naaman (Raoul in the West End’s The Phantom of The Opera) as Gibran’s older self, the show’s narrator and Soophia Foroughi (Lady of the Lake, Spamalot) is Mother.
The album also features Gillian Budd, Joseph Claus, Nadeem Crowe, Siubhan Harrison, James Hume, Irvine Iqbal, Nikita Johal, Sami Lamine, Adam Linstead, Leo Miles and Lauren James Ray.
As well as available on iTunes, CDs can be pre-ordered via Auburn Jam Music using this link www.brokenwings.auburnjam co.uk
NADIM NAAMAN (Book, Music & Lyrics)
Nadim was recently appointed an Associate of The Royal Academy of Music, where he trained in Musical Theatre. Prior to this, he read Drama at The University of Warwick. His recent acting credits include Bertie Wooster in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn’s By Jeeves (The Old Laundry Theatre) and Raoul in The Phantom of The Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre). Other Theatre includes: Sweeney Todd, One Man Two Guvnors, The Sound of Music, Titanic, Chess, Marguerite, James and The Giant Peach and The Last Five Years. Nadim has been a guest soloist with The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, The RCO Concertgebouw, The John Wilson Orchestra, The RTÉ Concert Orchestra and at The Royal Albert Hall. As a songwriter, Nadim has recorded two albums, We All Want The Same (2013) and Sides (2016). Sides, which also features a selection of Musical Theatre covers, topped the iTunes UK Vocal Chart in June 2016.
DANA AL FARDAN (Music & Lyrics)
Dana is one of The Middle East’s leading contemporary composers. Drawing on her cultural heritage, and influenced by a love of world music, her work is Arab-influenced, contemporary classical in style. With an established local audience, she is now garnering international attention. A live performance of her recent album Sandstorm sold out London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2017, and she has composed the score for forthcoming film release The Necromancer. Appointed as the official composer of Qatar Airways Group, Dana has composed a bespoke piece that greets millions of passengers every month on board the aircraft upon departure and arrival. Through this, and her support of music education programmes, nurturing creative talents of the next generation, she is contributing to the development of the arts in The Middle East from its very foundations - she was voted Grazia Arabia’s Woman Of The Year 2017.
BRONAGH LAGAN (Director)
Recently, Bronagh Directed Little Women (Hope Mill, Manchester) and has been Associate Director for Pippin (Southwark Playhouse). Other Director credits include: The Adventures of Pinnochio (Ambassadors Theatre, West End); Brexit - The Musical (Edinburgh); tick, tick BOOM! (Park Theatre), Promises, Promises (Southwark Playhouse); As You Like it (Jacksons Lane); The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Chipping Norton); The Pajama Game and A Man of No Importance (both for The Pleasance); Heart of Winter and The Stationmaster (both for Tristan Bates); James and The Giant Peach (No.1 UK & World Tour); Rags - The Musical (Lyric Theatre); A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg (Greenwich Theatre); Expectations (Arcola); Blood Wedding (Courtyard Theatre); Henry VI Part 1 (Rose Theatre); Erris (Theatre 503), Julius Caesar (The Scoop) and The Madness of Sweeney (Lyric Theatre, Belfast). Other Associate Director credits include: Becoming Shades (The Vaults, Waterloo) The History Boys (No.1 UK Tour) and Nothing Left to Lose (Purcell Rooms).
JOE DAVISON (Orchestrator)
Joe graduated with The Award for Dedication & Commitment to The University of Warwick Music Centre, having playing for and conducted numerous orchestras under the tuition of renowned conductor Paul McGrath (of the BBC’s Maestro). He began working as Studio Manager for Cherry Pie Studios, whilst simultaneously freelancing as an arranger and transcriber, designing and building professional audio systems for churches, schools and studios. In 2009, he and wife Nikki established their own studio, Auburn Jam Music. As Musical Director, Joe has worked with Bill Kenwright Productions, The Royal Albert Hall, and regularly leads concerts and cabarets at London venues such as The Matcham Room at The Hippodrome, The Actor’s Church and The Pheasantry (Pizza Express Live). Joe has arranged and transcribed work for Music Sales LTD and Boosey & Hawkes, writing sheet music and vocals selections for various artists including Leona Lewis, Adele, Kylie Minogue, Alphabeat, Oasis and Gnarls Barkley.
ALI MATAR (Producer)
Ali founded AM Management and Productions in 2003. To date, he has produced over 100 concerts and shows in London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Amman, Sydney, Doha, Montreal, Toronto, Paris and New York. Ali produced Nadim Sawalha’s play Rest Upon The Wind, inspired by the life and times of Kahlil Gibran, in ten different cities. Recent collaborations include work with Dubai International Film Festival, Doha Tribeca Film Festival, Raymond Gubbay Ltd., Spring Festival Bahrain, Marakesh Du Rire, Beiteddine Festival, International Entertainment Corporation, The Peace and Prosperity Trust, The British Lebanese Association, The London Palladium, Cadogan Hall and The Royal Albert Hall.
Kahlil Gibran was born in 1883, in the town of Bsharri, in what is now Lebanon. Aged 12, Gibran emigrated with his mother and siblings to the United States. He returned to The Middle East just the once, in order to complete his education during his late teens. He studied art and began his literary career, an accomplished painter and writing in both English and Arabic. In the Arab world, Gibran is regarded as a literary and political rebel. His romantic style was at the heart of a renaissance in modern Arabic literature, breaking away from the classical school. In Lebanon, he is celebrated as a literary hero. Notable works include The Broken Wings, The Madman, Jesus The Son of Man and his masterpiece The Prophet, which has never been out of print and has sold over 10 million copies. His words are declaimed at weddings, funerals and other ceremonies on a daily basis, and have influenced some of the worlds greatest artists, including Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Johnny Cash and David Bowie.
Book by Nadim Naaman Music and Lyrics by Dana al Fardan and Nadim Naaman
Wednesday 1- Saturday 4 August
Theatre Royal Haymarket Haymarket London SW1Y 4HT
Running time: 2 hours 10 mins (including interval)
Wednesday - Saturday at 7.30pm Saturday matinee at 2.30pm
Press night: Thursday 2 August at 7.30pm
Tickets from £20.00
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