Sulayman Al Bassam

Playwright and Director

Born in Kuwait in 1972, Sulayman Al Bassam founded Zaoum Theatre in London in 1996. SABAB Theatre is the Arabic arm, established in 2002. His plays have been published in various languages and study of his work forms part of higher education curriculae at universities in the USA and the Middle East. He produces work in both English and Arabic languages.

Productions as writer/director include: In the Eruptive Mode (Sydney Festival), The Speaker’s Progress (Next Wave Festival BAM New York, Holland Festival, D-CAF Festival Cairo, Les Journées Théâtrales de Cartage, Tunisia), Richard III – An Arab Tragedy (Royal Shakespeare Company Complete Works Festival, UK and world tour); The Mirror For Princes: Kalila Wa Dimna (Barbican BITE ’06 UK, Tokyo International Arts Festival Japan, Dar al Athar Kuwait); The Al-Hamlet Summit (Tokyo International Arts Festival Japan and world tour winning Edinburgh Fringe First Award 2002, Best Production and Best Director at Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre 2002, and the National Arts Award Kuwait 2003); Trading (Kuwait, Best Production and Best Design Awards at Gulf Youth Theatre Festival); Melting The Ice (15th Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre), The Arab League Hamlet (Les Journées Théâtrales de Cartage, Tunisia); Hamlet in Kuwait; The 60 Watt Macbeth and The Game Show (National Theatre of Dijon). In 2013, Sulayman was invited to direct Ritual for a Metamorphosis by Saadallah Al Wannous for La Comedie Francaise in Paris, and Théâtre du Gymnase, Marseille.

Sulayman lives and works in Kuwait. Future projects include The Lamentation for the Destruction of Ur at the Louvre Museum, Paris and a new play The Petrol Station.