Sharjah gears up for grand show of magical tales - GulfToday

Sharjah gears up for grand show of magical tales


The unique design of Al Majaz Amphitheatre will give the audience an unparalleled view of the stage from all angles.

SHARJAH: With April 23 slated as the stage debut date for the first-of-its-kind entertainment production, ‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’ in Sharjah, Al Majaz Amphitheatre has announced that massive construction work and technical preparations are under way to create a new chapter in the cultural movement in the UAE and the region.

The show, based on the region’s most popular collection of classic folktales, One Thousand and One Nights, will officially inaugurate year-long celebrations of Sharjah as the Unesco World Book Capital for the year 2019.   

The under-construction theatre is one of the biggest in the region – 43 metres wide, 16.4 metres tall, covering a total area of 1,030 square metres. The equipment that is being used in the first-of-its-kind production weighs 15 tonnes, and includes state-of-the-art audio-visual facilities imported from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

Announcing the details, Tariq Saeed Allay, CEO of Al Majaz Amphitheatre, said that it is wholly appropriate that ‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’ should form the chief attraction of the grand opening ceremony being held in Sharjah to mark the beginning of the Emirate’s World Book Capital 2019 celebrations.

“‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’ has been inspired by some of the most enduring narratives in the world literature. With this show, Sharjah is crossing another cultural milestone by reinforcing its commitment to human development through a grand celebration of the arts, while at the same time raising the curtain on the Emirate’s year as the World Book Capital in the most fitting possible way imaginable,” he said. The show will cement the Emirate’s reputation as an important patron of the arts and a beacon of both cultural inclusiveness and humanity. Just as the tales that the performance celebrates are both magical and human,” he added.

The theatre aesthetics will be a spectacle portraying the image of Sharjah as a crucible and incubator of cultures, where people from all over the world live and interact with each other in harmony and mutual respect, embodying the best qualities of humanity.

The unique design of Al Majaz Amphitheatre will give the audience an unparalleled view of the stage from all angles, and also present them with the three language options – Arabic, English and French – in which to enjoy this epic performance. The show will be brought to life by 537 theatre artists and acrobats, innovators, technologists and storytellers representing as many as 25 nationalities.

The show debuts at 9pm on April 23, and will run once daily at Al Majaz Amphitheatre until April 27.

Preparations for this one-of-a-kind production started nearly one year ago. More than 500 hours of training has already gone into giving the Arabian Nights a fresh interpretation, and a new beginning.

The artists will be dressed in costumes from various cultures while performing and dancing, acrobatic moves and horseback riding, accompanied by majestic musical performances specially composed for the show, and conducted by an orchestra comprising 51 musicians from Armenia, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

A number of artists from Mexico, UK, Brazil, Belarus, Slovenia, Japan, US and Canada will be featuring in the production. The production crew is flying in from Canada and France to oversee the technical and production aspects, while the live music for the show will be performed by a band that has brought together composers, singers and instrumentalists from Czech Republic, Netherlands, Serbia, Algeria, Canada, Lebanon, Armenia and UK.

An initiative of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, Al Majaz Amphitheatre is the first of its kind Roman-coliseum style open-air theatre built on the Arabian Peninsula. Built in 2014 to mark Sharjah’s coronation as the Islamic Culture Capital, the Amphitheatre was inaugurated by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, who wanted a physical symbol that emphasised Sharjah’s position as the shining jewel in the Arab world’s cultural crown.

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