Dana Al Fardan, one of the Middle East’s leading contemporary composers, and West End star Nadim Naaman today announce that their second major stage musical, ‘Rumi: The Musical’ will get its world premiere at the London Coliseum in November 2021.
‘Rumi’, based on a story about the 13th century philosopher and poet Rumi by Evren Sharma, follows Al Fardan and Naaman’s 2018 debut ‘Broken Wings’, which premiered in the West End at the Theatre Royal Haymarket before touring the Middle East.
‘Rumi: The Musical’ will premiere as a semi-staged concert at the London Coliseum on November 23 & 24. The live premiere follows the release of a full-length concept album on Broadway Records.
Led by Ramin Karimloo (as Shams Tabrizi) and Nadim Naaman (Rumi), Casey Al-Shaqsy (Kimya), Soophia Foroughi (Kara), the London Coliseum cast will comprise entirely of performers of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian heritage, and will also feature a 25+ piece orchestra, conducted by Joe Davison.
‘Rumi: The Musical’ features a grand score which combines Middle Eastern authenticity with classical influences and contemporary musical theatre, with lyrics derived from Rumi’s poetry; Orchestrated and Arranged by Joe Davison, with Vocal Arrangements by Nikki Davison.
Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday 14 September via the London Coliseum website
Dana Al Fardan said: “Writing ‘Rumi’ felt like a blessing, during a period of so much upheaval in the world. The show’s
emphasis is on looking within ourselves, and accessing the abundant sphere of creative force which shapes our
conception of reality. It has been such a healing journey and I can’t wait to share our show with audiences at The London Coliseum.”
Nadim Naaman said: ““We were so thrilled with the response to the release of the Rumi concept album earlier this year, and to its unique qualities as a piece of theatre. I am so grateful that we now have live performances to look forward to, particularly after the challenges we have all faced as an industry in the recent past. We are hugely grateful to everyone at English National Opera for welcoming Rumi onto the majestic stage of The London Coliseum.”
Produced by Ali Matar, ‘Rumi’ will be directed by Bronagh Lagan, with choreography by Anjali Mehra and Middle Eastern Musical Supervision by Maias Alyamani. Full Casting and the full creative team will be announced soon.
ABOUT THE SHOW
The legacy of 13th century philosopher and poet Rumi has touched millions around the world and continues to make an impact in its universality and utilitarian nature; a legacy which has lasted eight centuries and has inspired all nationalities, ages, faiths and backgrounds. But how did it all begin?
‘Rumi: The Musical’ examines the transformative and powerful relationship between Rumi and his mentor Shams Tabrizi, and how this extraordinary friendship, integral to Rumi’s development as both thinker and writer, impacted the lives of Rumi’s family, friends and followers, contextualising many of his popular words and works.
Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian poet, Hanafi faqih, Islamic scholar, Maturidi theologian, and Sufi mystic originally from Greater Khorasan in Greater Iran, Rumi’s influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. Rumi has been described as the “most popular poet” in the United States.
DANA AL FARDAN
Dana Al Fardan is a Qatari Composer, Songwriter and Symphonic Artist. Drawing on her rich cultural heritage and
influenced by her love of world music, her work is a blend of Arabic influenced contemporary Classical, both epic in scale and universally accessible. Dana is Brand Ambassador of the internationally renowned Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom she recorded ‘Layla’ and ‘Sandstorm’, her first two albums. ‘Sandstorm’ has since been played by The London
Metropolitan Orchestra at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London, bringing Qatari music to a UK audience for the first time. In Musical Theatre, Dana co-composed ‘Broken Wings’ with Nadim Naaman; an adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s debut novel. ‘Broken Wings’ premiered in the West End in 2018 at Theatre Royal Haymarket, and has since toured The Middle East (Beiteddine Arts Festival, Katara Opera House and Dubai Opera House), achieving sell-out runs and critical acclaim. In October 2019, Dana’s repertoire was performed at The United Nations to mark the annual UN Day and celebrate the UN’s 74th anniversary, featuring the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. The programme was Conducted by Eimeer Noon, who went on to conduct The Oscars that same year. Currently, Dana is also working on her score for feature film ‘Orca’ and her fourth album ‘INDIGO’.
Lebanese-British actor, singer and writer Nadim Naaman trained in musical theatre at The Royal Academy of Music, where he has since been appointed an Associate. Nadim is the Book Writer and Co-Composer of critically acclaimed Kahlil Gibran musical ‘Broken Wings’, written with Dana Al Fardan. ‘Broken Wings’ premiered in The West End in 2018 (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and has since toured The Middle East (Beiteddine Arts Festival, Katara Opera House and Dubai Opera House).
Recent acting credits include: Count Carl-Magnus in ‘A Little Night Music’ (Holland Park Opera), Raoul in ‘The Phantom of The Opera’ (West End, Athens and Thessaloniki) and Gibran in ‘Broken Wings’ (West End and Middle Eastern Tour). Other notable credits include: ‘On The Town’ (Royal Albert Hall, BBC Proms), ‘Sweeney Todd’ (Tooting Arts Club and West End), ‘One Man Two Guvnors’ (Theatre Royal Haymarket), and ‘The Sound of Music’ (Palladium). As a Soloist, Nadim’s Concert work has taken him around the world, collaborating with Orchestras and venues such as The Hong Kong Philharmonic, Birmingham Symphony, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, RTE Concert Orchestra Dublin, Liverpool Philharmonic, The John Wilson Orchestra, London Symphony and BBC Proms at The Royal Albert Hall. Nadim’s 2016 studio album, ‘Sides’, topped the iTunes UK Vocal Chart, and is available on iTunes and Spotify.
BRONAGH LAGAN – Director
Recently, Bronagh has Directed the acclaimed West End premiere of Cruise (Duchess Theatre), Rags (Park Theatre) and Umm Khulthum (London Palladium); 34 musical (Lowry Theatre). Other credits include Broken Wings (Theatre Royal Haymarket and Middle Eastern Tour); Putting It Together; Rags & Little Women (Hope Mill, Manchester); Children Of Eden (Mackintosh Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Ivy Studios); Girlfriends, in concert (Bishopsgate Institute); A Winter’s Tale (Rose Theatre, Kingston) The Adventures of Pinnochio (Ambassadors Theatre); Brexit – The Musical (Edinburgh); tick, tick BOOM! (Park Theatre), Promises, Promises (Southwark Playhouse); As You Like It (Jacksons Lane); The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Chipping Norton); The Pajama Game and A Man of No Importance (both for The Pleasance); Heart of Winter and The Stationmaster (both for Tristan Bates); James and The Giant Peach (No.1 UK & World Tour); Rags (Lyric Theatre); A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg (Greenwich Theatre); Expectations (Arcola); Blood Wedding (Courtyard Theatre); Henry VI Part 1 (Rose Theatre); Erris (Theatre 503), Julius Caesar (The Scoop) and The Madness of Sweeney (Lyric Theatre, Belfast).
Associate Director credits include: Contact (Various London, outdoor locations); Pippin (Southwark Playhouse), Becoming Shades (The Vaults, Waterloo) and The History Boys (No.1 UK Tour).
Upcoming Productions: Rise and fall of Little Voice, (Uk Tour)
ANJALI MEHRA – Choreographer
Anjali Mehra has worked as a Performer and Choreographer/Movement Director for over 20 years. She joined Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Dance company in 1999, after graduating from Central School of Ballet. Her work as a Choreographer/Movement Director has spanned most genres in the arts giving her a unique insight to what is required in each different moment. Recent Choreography/Movement Direction credits include: As You Like It (The Watermill); A Soldier’s Tale (Royal College of Music and Central School of Ballet); Gondoliers (Scottish Opera); Daddy (Almeida Theatre); Queen of Spades (Lyric Opera Chicago) and God Only Knows (Tate Modern). As a Dancer, Anjali has performed as a Principal for over two decades, including Glenda in Play without Words, Irina in The Red Shoes, The Queen and Girlfriend in Swan Lake, The Stepmother in Cinderella, and Sugar in Nutcracker. Anjali has also worked and danced for Wayne McGregor, Arthur Pita, Nick Winston, Cathy Marston, Imogen Knight, Alex Reynolds, Anthony Van Last, Andrew George, Linda Dobell and Lucy Burge in Musical Theatre, Opera, contemporary and commercial dance; most notably, Kiss me Kate (Theatre du Chatelet), the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams and in films World War Z and Alexander.
MAIAS ALYAMANI – Middle Eastern Musical Supervision
Maias is a Violinist, Composer and Producer. He is considered one of the foremost Arab artists of today. He graduated from The Higher Institute of Music in Damascus in before completing his Master’s at The Vienna University of Music. He is a
frequent lecturer of Arabic Music across Europe. As a Soloist, Maias has performed with leading musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, Gidon Kremer, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Zawinul and Fairuz. His numerous appearances with
Orchestras across Europe include: Vienna Symphony, Kremerata Baltica, RSO Vienna, Orchestra Royal de Chamber de
Wallonie, Berlin Philharmonie, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.As a Composer, Maias’
recent commissions include the inauguration of Damascus Opera House, the opening ceremony of The Arab Olympic Games, boarding music for Qatar Airways, the opening ceremony of Lusail Stadium, Doha and the 2022 World Cup Launch. He has built a large following popularising Classical Music in The Arab World, with over 20 recordings to his name.
JOE DAVISON & NIKKI DAVISON (AUBURN JAM MUSIC)
Joe was tutored in Conducting by Paul McGrath (BBC’s Maestro) and has gone on to MD concerts at The Royal Albert Hall, O2 Arena, Kerry Ellis Tonight At The London Coliseum, and conducted his own orchestrations on the international tour of ‘Broken Wings’. Joe and Nikki (aka Auburn Jam Music) have Orchestrated, Produced and Mixed albums for pop and rock artists including Felix Hagan & The Family, Cable Street Collective, Rebecca Levy, Caroline Kay, and West End stars including Kerry Ellis, Janie Dee, Alice Fearn and Nadim Naaman. They’ve produced and mixed cast recordings including: Rags Original London Cast Recording with Stephen Schwartz (Ghostlight Records), Queen Of The Mist with Michael John LaChiusa (Pint of Wine), The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Broken Wings and #ZoologicalSociety by Vikki Stone (all Auburn Jam Records) and are currently Orchestrating and Producing Millennials by Elliot Clay and Public Domain by Forristal & Clarke, which they recently Music Supervised for its live-streamed Southwark Playhouse premiere. As a keys player Joe has toured and recorded with Bear’s Den on Fragments (Communion Records) and alongside Nikki (vocals) toured with Frank Turner, Arkells, Leddra Chapman and Felix Hagan & The Family. They also compose for TV and film, with credits including The Girl Who Built A Rocket (Water Aid), Hey You What If (CBBC), Delete Delete Delete (BBC Ireland) and for brands including Nickelodeon, Argos, Finish, Warner Music, BMW and England Rugby. Joe assisted Dana Al Fardan on feature film Orca (Katara Studios) and Nick Lloyd Webber on Love, Lies and Records (BBC).