Sulayman Al-Bassam

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Sulayman Al-Bassam
Occupation Playwright, director
Notable work(s) The Al-Hamlet Summit
The Speaker's Progress
Rituel pour Une Metamorphose

Sulayman Al-Bassam, (1 June 1972), is a Kuwaiti playwright and theatre director, and founder of Zaoum theatre company (London 1996-2001) and its Arabic arm Sulayman Al-Bassam Theatre Kuwait (2002).

From The Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK to Peter Brook's legendary theatre in Paris, from Japan to the USA, the work of Sulayman Al-Bassam and his troupe SABAB Theatre has been celebrated across four continents by the world's most prestigious cultural powerhouses. Led by Kuwaiti writer & director Sulayman Al-Bassam and British producer Georgina Van Welie, working alongside artists from across the Arab World and Europe, the company is a celebration of cultural diversity in an age of extremes.[citation needed]

Its projects are characterised by a radical approach to text (new writing and re-workings of Shakespeare), bold production styles and an uncompromising engagement with issues concerning the contemporary Arab world. Over the last four years the company has created a string of internationally acclaimed productions[citation needed] including The Al-Hamlet Summit, Kalila wa Dimna, The Mirror For Princes, Melting The Ice, Trading, Richard 3, an Arab Tragedy.

Sulayman Al-Bassam's work, though deeply critical of political structures and regressive forces within the Arab world, challenges the negative preconceptions surrounding Arab and Muslim society today. It champions the Arab voice internationally and creates an intercultural space for Arab culture on the world stage. In 2013, Al Bassam was commissioned by La Comedie Francaise to direct the first text of an Arab author to take a place in the permanent repertoire of the company, Saadallah Wannous' Rituel pour one Metamorphose.[citation needed]


  • Al-Bassam, Sulayman. 2006. The Al-Hamlet Summit University of Hertfordshire Press. ISBN 1-902806-62-X.
  • Al-Bassam, Sulayman. 2006. The Mirror for Princes: Kalila Wa Dimna London: Oberon Books Ltd. ISBN 1-84002-670-7.

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