Monday, 2 August 2010

Zayed & the Dream

Just went, on behalf of THE MUSLIM PAPER, to review a musical called, 'Zayed & The Dream'at The Coliseum in Covent Garden, last night. How do I rate this? I began by making a list of what a production like this would entail: acting, costume, set design, choreography, direction, production, music, props, costume design, lighting, composition, script writing. I'm not sure if I missed any other aspect(s), but I can say that 'Zayed & The Dream,' which turned the biography of the founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, into an epic story, is NOT to be missed. The next performance is on 3 August.

The review will be printed in September's issue of The Muslim Paper in more detail so I will only say here that I recommend anyone to see it. It's only here until the 3rd of August, then they are off to another major city to perform. The Caracalla Theatre, stationed in Lebanon and funded by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, is so famous for their performances that they are invited all over the world to showcase the works, from China and USA, to France and England. So...basically...they're good.

A few weeks ago, I had an incredible phone interview with the Director of 'Zayed & The Dream,' Ivan Caracalla and let me tell you that it never ceases to shock me how HUMBLE and FRIENDLY people like him are. Of course, not everyone is humble (ahem...Kanye West), but most who work extremely hard, day and night, to get to where they are, whose backgrounds are not exactly up-to-riches-par, tend to be approachable. This interview will also accompany my review in The Muslim Paper's September 2010 issue.


  1. I went to see this show yesterday.
    It was very disappointing. The first half was heardly entertainment, more like a propaganda history lesson, I feel asleep for 5 minutes it was so boring, the second half was only redeemed due to excellent Ukrainian, Spanish and Chinese dancing.

  2. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Anything can be considered propoganda history...there are so many historical films from 'Victoria' to 'Princess Diana' to 'Elizabeth.' All ideas have a root whether it's historical, literary or artistic.... Many people have interesting lives and some stories are worth telling. Whoever made this musical felt the story was WORTH telling and that is creative in itself.
    If someone is not interested in history, then Zayed & The Dream is not for him/her. But if, regardless of this interest or disinterest, that person loves musicals, then I recommend you give this one a shot. After all, opinions always vary.

  3. I just saw this show in DC at the Kennedy Center and I must say as an Arab American that I really disliked it. All good stories show not just tell. A very weak story, too much male aggression. The costumes and dancing were lovely but the music seemed at times too showy and cheesy. If you are interested in seeing something displays arab culture, this is not it.
    The backdrops though were excellent and surreal. Everything has to come together to make a good performance and so this is a 2 out of 5.