Thursday, 25 January 2018

New Musical BROKEN WINGS announces casting for Workshop and concept Album


Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan’s debut musical begins its journey from page to stage. Produced by Ali Matar (AM Management and Productions), Broken Wings is a faithful adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s poetic novel, originally published in Arabic in 1912, and translated into English by Helen Zimmern. To date, Gibran remains the third best- selling poet of all time, after Shakespeare and Lao Tzu. 

Final workshops take place in London this month, before recording a concept album due for release this spring. Rob Houchen and Hiba Elchikhe lead the cast as teenage protagonists Gibran and Selma. Nadim Naaman will himself develop and record the role of older Gibran, the show’s narrator. Naaman says, “Trying to get a new musical on its feet is arguably tougher than ever, so we thought we would try things the other way around - release an album and get the material out there first. It has worked well for shows in the past, so let’s see if people like it, if we can generate a buzz and create an appetite for this new musical. One step at a time, but it is very exciting to have reached this stage.”

Full company of the workshop and album includes: Gillian Budd, Joseph Claus, Nadeem Crowe, Hiba Elchikhe, Soophia Fouroughi, Siubhan Harrison, Rob Houchen, James Hume, Irvine Iqbal, Nikita Johal, Sami Lamine, Adam Linstead, Leo Miles, Nadim Naaman and Lauren James Ray. 

Broken Wings is an autobiographical account of the iconic poet’s first love, narrated by Gibran from his New York studio in the 1920s. Through poetry and music, he transports us back two decades, to turn-of-the-century Beirut. As an eighteen-year-old, Gibran returns to The Middle East having spent five years in America, to complete his education and discover more of his heritage. He falls deeply in love with Selma Karamy, the daughter of family friend and hugely respected local businessman, Farris Karamy. However, Selma soon becomes betrothed to Mansour Bey Galib, nephew of the powerful and scheming Bishop Bulos Galib, who has his eye on the Karamy family fortune. Gibran and Selma fight to reconcile their love for one another, whilst navigating the rules, traditions and expectations that their society lays before them.

The events of Broken Wings highlight both social issues of the time, and also themes and debates that remain highly relevant today, over one hundred years on; the ongoing fight for gender equality, the freedom to love who we love, the tradition of arranged marriage within the context of an increasingly modern world, the balance between wealth and happiness, the role of immigrants and the importance and definition of ‘home’. Gibran was truly writing ahead of his time.

Nadim was recently appointed an Associate of The Royal Academy of Music, where he trained in Musical Theatre. Prior to this, he read Drama at The University of Warwick. His recent acting credits include Bertie Wooster in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn’s By Jeeves (The Old Laundry Theatre) and Raoul in The Phantom of The Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre). Other Theatre includes: Sweeney Todd, One Man Two Guvnors, The Sound of Music, Titanic, Chess, Marguerite, James and The Giant Peach and The Last Five Years. Nadim has been a guest soloist with The RCO Concertgebouw, The John Wilson Orchestra, The RTÉ Concert Orchestra and at The Royal Albert Hall. As a songwriter, Nadim has recorded two albums, We All Want The Same (2013) and Sides (2016). Sides, which also features a selection of Musical Theatre covers, topped the iTunes UK Vocal Chart in June 2016.

Dana is Qatar’s only female contemporary composer. Drawing on her cultural heritage and influenced by her love of world music, her work is a blend of Arab-influenced contemporary classical, epic in scale and universally accessible. With an established local audience, she is now garnering international attention, enhanced by the cross-continental reception to her most recent album Sandstorm, and her appointment as official composer for Qatar Airways. Dana established Qatar’s first and only record label, DNA, in 2016. Through this, and her commitment to music education programmes, nurturing the creative talents of the next generation, she is contributing to the very creation of Qatar’s music industry from its very foundations.

Ali founded AM Management and Productions in 2003. To date, he has produced over 100 concerts and shows in London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Amman, Sydney, Doha, Montreal, Toronto, Paris and New York. Ali has produced Nadim Sawalha’s play Rest Upon The Wind, inspired by the life and times of Kahlil Gibran, in ten different cities. Recent collaborations include work with Dubai International Film Festival, Doha Tribeca Film Festival, Raymond Gubbay Ltd., Spring Festival Bahrain, Marakesh Du Rire, Beiteddine Festival, International Entertainment Corporation, The Peace and Prosperity Trust, The British Lebanese Association, The London Palladium, Cadogan Hall and The Royal Albert Hall. 
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