‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’ debuts tomorrow - GulfToday

‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’ debuts tomorrow


Theatre artistes in traditional costumes.

Sharjah and the UAE are in for something unlike anything they’ve seen before. The eagerly anticipated and talked about theatrical show – 1001 Nights: The Last Chapter – takes to the Al Majaz Amphitheatre stage for the first time, tomorrow, April 23.

Being dubbed as a regional masterpiece in immersive live entertainment, this 90-minute production is a special tribute to Sharjah’s official inauguration as the Unesco World Book Capital 2019. It is intended to serve as a memorable beginning to a yearlong book-themed cultural programme the emirate has designed to celebrate this title.  

Produced by Al Majaz Amphitheatre and developed by Multiple International in partnership with 7Fingers and Artists In Motion, the show promises to be a folk-inspired spectacle filled with daredevil acrobatics and aerial stunts, which will be part of 13 varieties of performance arts that will string together the show’s narrative.

It has been conceptualised and developed by 537 world-class artistic, athletic and technical team members representing 25 nationalities, who have put more than 500 hours of training into creating this cultural masterpiece.

After tomorrow’s debut, the show will run once every evening until April 27 at the same venue. The show can be watched in three languages – Arabic, English and French.

Under the umbrella of Sharjah World Book Capital Office (SWBC Office), Sharjah  will celebrate the prestigious Unesco title ‘World Book Capital’ which was launched in 2001, with year-long cultural and heritage activities under the unique theme ‘Open Books. Open Minds’ from April 23, 2019, to April 22, 2020, engaging book lovers of all age groups, interests and cultural backgrounds.

The committee at Unesco named Sharjah the World Book Capital 2019 in appreciation of its vital role in supporting books, promoting reading and adopting knowledge in cross-cultural communication. Sharjah was also recognised for its great efforts to foster reading as a robust culture at the regional and international levels.

The world’s best creative minds in live experiential entertainment have joined forces to create what is being dubbed as the biggest and most powerful stage adaptation of One Thousand and One Nights. With heads of Multiple International and Artists in Motion, choreographers associated with recent Cirque du Soleil productions, and top orchestra talents involved, Sharjah has pulled out all stops to create the much-awaited epic, ‘1001 Nights: The Last Chapter’.   

This one-of-its-kind live entertainment production led by Al Majaz Amphitheatre, developed by Multiple International in partnership with 7Fingers and Artists in Motion will raise the curtain on ‘Sharjah World Book Capital 2019’ celebrations, on the evening of April 23 – World Book Day.

Set to inaugurate a year-long cultural celebration to honour this prestigious Unesco title bestowed on the emirate for its unrivalled cultural attainments, the massive stage production is being brought to life by a crew of 537 theatre artists and acrobats, innovators, technologists and storytellers from 25 nationalities.

The creative and production crews have already crossed the 1,000-hour mark in their preparations, spread across a duration of more than a year.

After giving UAE the ‘Clusters of Light’ operetta in 2014, when Sharjah was named the Islamic Culture Capital by the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), Philippe Skaff, CEO, Multiple International has returned as creative director of this show. The Laval University graduate started his career with the biggest live show staged in Africa - ‘Africa First’, and has authored two books, The Concrete Republic and Between Day and Night.

The show director’s chair has been occupied by Sébastien Soldevila, multiple award winner and co-founding artistic director of ‘The 7 Fingers’, an artist collective based in Canada. Soldevila’s name and creative expertise are attached to the likes of ‘Festival Mondial Du Cirque De Demain’ (the World Festival of the Circus of Tomorrow) in Paris, and more recently, ‘Crustal’ – Cirque du Soleil’s first circus show on ice. Soldevila also directed The Circus Princess, which has been nominated four times at the Golden Mask Awards in Russia.

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