The music of Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan’s Broken Wings remains strong, but the musical around it feels slightly disappointing at the Charing Cross Theatre
“I remember the beauty of home”
I was a big fan of the concept album of Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan’s musical Broken Wings and sad to have missed its debut in the West End as a semi-staged concert due to being on holiday. So news of its arrival as a fully-fledged production at the Charing Cross Theatre was most welcome, especially considering how rare it is to see work from Middle Eastern writers or indeed about Middle Eastern subjects.
Which makes it a bit of a shame that Bronagh Lagan’s production doesn’t quite catch flight to match that soaring score. Based on Lebanese writer Khalil Gibran’s novel of the same name, Naaman’s book details an epic love story between Selma and Gibran in turn-of-the-century Beirut, narrated by a ruminative older version of Gibran. And since he is feeling ruminative, you can tell that it hasn’t necessarily been plain sailing. Continue reading “Review: Broken Wings, Charing Cross Theatre”
Rehearsal pics might not always be the most exciting thing but they do serve as a useful reminder of shows that you should be thinking about booking for – in this case, Cock, Broken Wings, Steve, Straight Line Crazy and if you can fit it in, Doubt
Cock opens at the Ambassadors Theatre on 5th March Continue reading “A few shows to look forward to”
Final casting is today annouced for Rumi: The Musical by Dana Al Fardan, one of the Middle East’s leading contemporary composers, and West End star Nadim Naaman, which will get its world premiere at the London Coliseum in November 2021.
Based on a story about the 13th century philosopher and poet Rumi by Evren Sharma, Rumi: The Musical follows Al Fardan and Naaman’s 2018 debut musical, ‘Broken Wings’, which premiered in the West End at the Theatre Royal Haymarket before touring the Middle East. Continue reading “News: full cast announced for Rumi: The Musical at the London Coliseum”
Charlie Kristensen, the 11 year old passionate anti-bullying campaigner and much-loved host of the online chat show Musical Chairs with #CheerUpCharlie, will be joined by an exciting line-up for his fundraising gala #CheerUpCharlie – The Show on Sunday 31 October 2021 at 7.30pm at The Actor’s Church in Covent Garden, London.
Produced by Mark Robert Petty and hosted by Ben Stock and Hilary O’Neil, with Musical Direction by Tom Knowles, the evening will feature a whole host of the West End’s much-loved top musical theatre performers: Lewis Asquith, Lizzie Bea, Nikki Bentley, Daniel Boys, Kieran Brown, Robin Cousins, Maria Coyne, Ferris & Milnes, Adrian Hansel, Jacqueline Hughes, Sophie Isaacs, Melissa Jacques, Alison Jiear, Gemma Knight Jones, Carolyn Maitland, Nadim Naaman, Sara Poyzer, Oliver Savile, Jon Tarcy, Shona White and Jacinta Whyte as well as Joseph Fletcher and Natasha Volley from DMD+ (Deaf Men Dancing+, founded by Mark Smith), country cross-over duo One Trick Pony, This One’s For You – A Tribute To Elton John (with Dougie Carter, Ben Barrow and Sam Ebenezer), the cast of Rumi: The Musical, mind-reader Matt Daniel-Baker and ventriloquist Max Fulham. They will be joined by students from ASA Theatre Arts, London School of Musical Theatre, MX Masterclass and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Charlie also has some special surprises up his sleeve.
Continue reading “News: West End performers join fundraising gala #CheerUpCharlie – The Show”
Dana Al Fardan, one of the Middle East’s leading contemporary composers, and West End star Nadim Naaman today announce that their second major stage musical, Rumi: The Musical will get its world premiere as a semi-staged concert at the London Coliseum on November 23rd & 24th 2021.
Rumi, based on a story about the 13th century philosopher and poet Rumi by Evren Sharma, follows Al Fardan and Naaman’s 2018 debut Broken Wings, which premiered in the West End at the Theatre Royal Haymarket before touring the Middle East.
Led by Ramin Karimloo (as Shams Tabrizi) and Nadim Naaman (Rumi), Casey Al-Shaqsy (Kimya), Soophia Foroughi (Kara), the London Coliseum cast will comprise entirely of performers of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian heritage, and will also feature a 25+ piece orchestra, conducted by Joe Davison.
Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday 14 September via the London Coliseum website Continue reading “Some September casting news”
Dana Al Fardan, one of the Middle East’s leading contemporary composers, and West End star Nadim Naaman today announce their second major stage musical, Rumi: The Musical. Rumi, based on a story about the 13th century philosopher and poet Rumi by Evren Sharma, follows Al Fardan and Naaman’s 2018 debut Broken Wings, which premiered in the West End at the Theatre Royal Haymarket before touring the Middle East.
Rumi: The Musical will launch first with a full-length concept album, with Ramin Karimloo and Nadim Naaman heading a West End cast comprising entirely of performers of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian heritage, and also featuring The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. Continue reading “News: Ramin Karimloo and co-composer Nadim Naaman head the cast of ‘Rumi: The Musical’”
West End stars and Broken Wings alumni collaborate with members of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra to raise money for the Red Cross’ Beirut Emergency Appeal
Following the devastating explosion in Beirut on August 4th 2020, over 40 artists have collaborated between London and Beirut to film a music video of ‘All I Longed To See’, from new musical Broken Wings by Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan, with orchestrations by Joe Davison.
The video has been produced in aid of The Beirut Emergency Appeal, a collaborative fund established between both The British and Lebanese Red Cross. As a result of the explosion, at least 181 people have lost their lives, over 6,000 people have been wounded, and 300,000 are now homeless. These numbers are likely to continue to rise. Continue reading “News: The West End & Beirut collaborate for The Beirut Emergency Appeal”
Written by Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan, the concept album of new musical Broken Wings marks an ambitious debut and an impressive arrival
“I remember the beauty of home”
Would you be able to name the third best-selling poet of all time? Behind Shakespeare and Laozi, it is actually the Lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran. So adapting his work for the stage is perhaps something of a natural step, and an under-explored one given the Anglo-Saxon bias of the Western canon. And it feels only right that it should fall to a Lebanese man and a Qatari woman to compose a musical based on one of his most famous works.
The result is Broken Wings. A new musical which has not only released a concept album, but will play the Theatre Royal Haymarket for four nights in early August, marking the first Arabic-inspired musical to grace the West End. But is it any good? I have to say I have fallen hard for its charms, as it reveals itself to be a supremely confident piece of writing, and one which balances the melting pot of its influences with an almost classic approach. Continue reading “Album Review: Broken Wings”