Play depicting Arab poet Khalil Gibran’s life a sell-out in Oman

Oman Friday 06/May/2016 17:17 PM
By: Times News Service
Play depicting Arab poet Khalil Gibran’s life a sell-out in Oman

Muscat: A packed auditorium at the Al Bustan Palace saw the dramatic interpretation of the life of Khalil Gibran, one of the most recognisable names among Arab poets, which was written and directed by Nadim Sawalha.
The Lebanese-American artist, poet and writer, Gibran might have been largely unknown among the vast majority of people attending the show, but with the insight delivered by all the actors on stage with elegance, the name of the third best-selling poet of all time will surely take root in the hearts and minds of the public again.
Born in 1883 in Lebanon, Gibran immigrated to the United States when he was 12. He struggled with poverty, but created art that would touch the lives of many. His magnum opus has sold over 100 million copies since 1923.
The play called 'Rest upon the Wind', begins with a dialogue between a spiritually troubled Gibran and a waiter at a cafe in Boston, many years after the former’s move to America, that culminates rather reverentially in the completion and successful publishing of his most acclaimed work.
The play looks back at Gibran’s early life in the Ottoman-controlled area in Lebanon through to his desire to set his people free with his writing and art, whilst he lived in Boston with his sister.
This has been shown in the play with a gentle exquisiteness by the gracious Dina Mousawi, which could have been lost on other actors. It is through Myrianna one sees the real Gibran—a rather mean and frustrated figure at first who is full of unproductive negativity and anger at the world.
The story later moves to his time in New York where he would go onto write with Mary Haskell’s backing, the book that would go on to become his most famous piece of work.
The second half is better, with an improved musical score representing the move from stagnation to the momentum of success and the audience getting to experience some of the genuine “spiritual emancipation” that Gibran’s works represent.
Throughout the whole play, the generosity of Sawalha’s writing of the main character of Gibran is captured perfectly by Fanos Xenofos. The desires, his love of life and his constant pain are etched on the face of the actor perfectly, evoking passion in turn among the appreciative audience.
A mix of drama, comedy and profound self-discovery, Gibran is an absolute 'must see,' not only for Gibran fans, but for all those who are busy discovering their own spiritual journey.
With an original sound score from award winning composer Jules Deering, this production boasts of stunning visuals, music and electric performances from the six cast members.
First staged at the West End in London at the Tristan Bates Theatre in 2011, 'Rest Upon The Wind' has gained popularity the world over, with several shows staged in New York. In Dubai, the play was a sell-out for five consecutive nights.