7 January 2016
When the much-awaited epic musical play "Al Faris" was unveiled before a crowded audience on Wednesday, the main guest was none other than His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the sole inspiration of the play.
Al Faris, which features verses from 30 poems carefully selected from 150 poems of Shaikh Mohammed, will run until Saturday at Shaikh Rashid Hall in Dubai World Trade Centre. During the grand opening of the play, Shaikh Mohammed said that honesty of creative expression is a huge responsibility and directly contributes to the development of nations.
Celebrated Lebanese actor Ghassan Saliba and popular Emirati singer Balqees played the lead roles in the stage production.
The opening day saw Saliba delivering a powerful performance. Despite being her debut in theatre, Balqees also displayed an outstanding performance.
The production adds another feather to the cap of Marwan Rahbani, the theatrical director of the play.
Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office Mona Al Marri said that the epic play based on the poems of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid is a message of peace from Dubai to the world, adding that Al Faris reflects the noble values embedded in our religion and Arab culture.
She said the play is a call to the entire world to revive such values that can help nations overcome the difficult challenges they are facing today.
Al Marri added: "The stage production features English subtitles but Al Faris speaks in a universal language created by the music, choreography, costumes, cinematic scenes and visual effects."
The integration of the verses into the narrative gave the script an epic flavour.
The Emirati poet Saif Al Saadi supervised the diction of the actors to ensure it was true to the speech rhythms of the Emirati dialect.
Ghady Rahbani and Moayad Al Shaybani developed the story and scenario of the play.
Over 800 actors, dancers, technicians, musicians and vocalists from 30 nationalities and a team of talented Emiratis participated in the production.
The diversity of the production team reflects the cultural diversity of Dubai, a city where people of over 200 nationalities live in harmony. The production team travelled to Ukraine, Malaysia, UK and Lebanon to record the music and shoot the scenes for the cinematic backdrop for the play.
Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Foundation; Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group; Shaikha Al Jalila bint Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum; ministers; director generals of government departments; and senior officials watched the play, produced by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office, in collaboration with Rahbani Productions.
Doors for the show open at 6pm every day while curtains rise at 6:30pm.
Three days left
Watch Al Faris at Rashid Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre until Saturday. Doors for the show open at 6pm every day while curtains rise at 6:30pm.