- Title: Take a trip to the 13th-century with Rumi, a modern day musical
- Date: 19th July 2021
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR AND "RUMI THE MUSICAL" CO-WRITER, NADIM NAMAAN, SAYING: "The ideal scenario with Rumi is that as the world kind of comes out of this COVID-19 pandemic and the arts world begins to open up again, we will begin to put Rumi on stage. At the moment it exists as an album and we are very grateful that we've had the opportunity to do that whist in a lockdown environment. But ultimately, we want to get him on stage, we've been working very hard to make that happen and hopefully they'll be some news very soon about the beginning of that journey."
- Embargoed: 2nd August 2021 13:36
- Keywords: 13th Century Adaptation Album Dana Al Fardan Middle East Music Nadim Namaan Persia Rumi Theatre
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Europe,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA00BEMIANO5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Millennial-style memes often quote this celebrated 13th-century Persian poet online, while many dancers around the world twirl while practicing the art of dervishing, with music inspired by his poetry.
The work of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi continues to captivate fans from Turkey to Yemen, for his love of music, religion, and dance.
And the most recent fascination with Rumi's works has been adapted into an album composed to suit a contemporary, global audience.
Nadim Namaan and Dana Al Fardan along with a cast of Middle Eastern and South Asian musicians spent their time under lockdown interacting through screens and jetting between Doha, Dubai, and the UK to record songs written using translations of Rumi's poems.
The result: a 23-song album available for download on musical streaming apps and which they hope will also be performed on stage as the world comes out of the pandemic.
Rumi, The Musical is based on the story by Evren Sharma of the philosopher's relationship with Shams Tabrizi, another great poet of the time and who many regard as his mentor and the inspiration behind Rumi's own poetry.
The co-writers' goal was simple, compose a modern musical with Middle Eastern flavour that can resonate with fans in the west and beyond.
"Our mandate was to find stories rooted in Arab heritage surrounding universal figures that speak about universal values that we could export to a western audience," Al Fardan told Reuters.
"We have very traditional elements from the middle east but also a score and a style that's accessible to a modern audience," co-writer Namaan added.
The duo is working on opening the show in London, taking it to the Middle East and eventually, the world.
(Production: Will Russell, Mindy Burrows, Seham Eloraby)
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