I M E D E A makes its London debut at Shubbak Festival

“An intensely rich production…’IMEDEA’ is a powerful assault on conformism and authoritarianism.” Le Monde


I M E D E A by SULAYMAN AL BASSAM: I M E D E A makes its London debut at Shubbak Festival

Witness a bold reimaging of the infamous Greek myth as I M E D E A takes the stage for its UK premiere at the prestigious Shubbak Festival – the window to contemporary Arab culture. Written by the award-winning Sulayman Al Bassam, I M E D E A draws on the eroding infrastructures of fact in a digital world.

Having premiered at the Tunis International Festival of Carthage in 2021 to critical acclaim and accolades, I M E D E A is set to captivate London audiences 

“With brutal simplicity, Al Bassam has created an iconoclastic work of theatre and live performance.” TUNISIE DIRECT

In this innovative adaptation, Medea emerges as an educated and outspoken Arab woman residing in a secular European state, boasting a substantial social media following. However, her politically charged views clash with the populist ruler, subjecting her to state surveillance. Turning the tables on her oppressors, Medea utilises the very tools of surveillance to re-enact the violence of history over generations.

Medea is portrayed by the Franco-Syrian actress, Hala Omran, known for her captivating performances in Al Bassam's In The Eruptive Mode and Sami Ibrahim's Two Palestinians Go Dogging (The Royal Court 2022), amongst others; meanwhile Al Bassam plays the author taking on the host of male characters he has created. I M E D E A marks a highly anticipated return to the British theatre scene for Al Bassam, an internationally celebrated writer and director, who last delivered to UK audiences the critically acclaimed The Al-Hamlet Summit (Riverside Studios, 2004) and Richard III, an Arab Tragedy (R.S.C. 2007), as well as Kalila wa Dimna; or the Mirror For Princes (Barbican, 2006).

Accompanying Omran and Al Bassam on stage is a mesmerising live score performed by the talented Lebanese electro-acoustic duo, Two or The Dragon. The production seamlessly merges elements of a live rock concert with a powerful spoken word session, creating an immersive experience that pushes the boundaries of traditional theatre.

I M E D E A is the second in a cycle of works, The Icarus Cycle, inspired by ancient civilisational texts. The first piece UR, inspired by the Sumerian "Lamentation for the Destruction of the City of Ur', premiered at the Residenztheater, Munich in 2018. Since its premiere in Tunisia in 2021, I M E D E A has wowed audiences in Cairo, Beirut, Kuwait, Germany, Naples, Italy, Mexico, and Casablanca. 

For more information and tickets, please visit www.shubbak.co.uk/imedea or www.sabab.org.

Previous U.K.press for Sulayman Al Bassam: 

★★★★ ‘90 minutes that has you riveted to your seat’ The Guardian

★★★★ ‘original and pulse-quickenly topical’ The Times

‘Explosive, gutsy and brilliantly acted’ Time Out

‘A fascinating and clever play’ The Financial Times

‘inventively staged, ferociously acted’ The New Statesman


About Sulayman Al Bassam

Sulayman Al Bassam is an acclaimed playwright and director known for his innovative adaptations of classical texts. His works have been performed worldwide, earning him numerous awards and recognition for his contribution to contemporary theatre.

About Shubbak Festival

Shubbak Festival is the UK's leading festival of contemporary Arab culture, showcasing a diverse range of artistic disciplines from the Arab world. The festival aims to foster cross-cultural dialogue and challenge stereotypes, promoting understanding and appreciation of Arab culture.