Shakespeare in Kabul

Shakespeare in Kabul

Product ID: 32638

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Author: Stephen Landrigan
Qais Akbar Omar/
Publisher: Rupa
Year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 230
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788129120984


In 2005, a rising tide of optimism was sweeping through post-Taliban Afghanistan. Perhaps nothing captured this more poignantly than the performance of Shakespeare’s Loves Labour’s Lost by a group of Afghan actors in Kabul. After decades of war, oppression, intolerance and unimaginable devastation, men and women appeared on stage together foreign journalists sang praises, Afghan audiences cheered.

“The Wounds that we suffered in all of the Fighting here, they will be forgotten in a few years. But by doing this play, we will bring our suffering to those with guilty consciences who are still in this country and still ruling us.”

The future held no limits, they all believed. Qais Akbar Omar, a writer, served as Assistant Director and interpreter for the French actress Corinne Jaber, who had visited Afghanistan on holiday and returned to direct the play; Stephen Landrigan, a playwright, assembled a team of Afghan translators to fashion in Dari a script as poetic as Shakespeare’s.

In this brisk, warm and frequently funny account, Qais and Stephen capture the triumphs and foibles of the actors as they extend their passion for Afghan poetry to that of Shakespeare.

But violence has not yet had its fill of Afghanistan and tragedy visits its men and women every day. And yet, in the midst of carnage and despair, hope still remains that things will one day be better. A tribute to that hope, Shakespeare in Kabul is a moving narrative about a group of people who chose to believe in their country’s future.


“A moving narrative about a group of people who chose to believe in Afghanistan’s future.”
-- Zoe Wanamaker CBE

“This is a Great Story of Creativity and Courage and Open-Heartedness…”
--- Shakespeare in Kabul

“Cannot Fail to Move Anyone who Falls Under its Spell.”
--- Michael Wood


Exposition by Stephen Landrigan
1. Prologue by Kabul. March, 2005.
2. A Cry of Players by Kabul. March, 2055
3. Selecting a Play by Paris. April, 2005.
4. Finding Funds
5. Making the Script by Kabul. May and June, 2005.

Climax by Qais Akbar Omar
6. Casting : The Boys by Kabul. May, 2005.
7. Casting : The Girls by Kabul. May, 2005.
8. Casting : Searching for Marina by Kabul. June, 2005.
9. Rehearsals, Act One by Kabul. June, 2005.
10. Rehearsals, Act Two by Kabul. June, 2005.
11. Tea with Shakespeare by Kabul. June and July 2005.
12. Meaning of Love by Kabul. June, 2005.
13. Behind the Scenes by Kabul. June, 2005.
14. “This Theatre of Heaven” by Kabul. August, 2005.
15. Rehearsals, Act Three by Kabul. August, 2005.
16. Exists and Entrances by Kabul. August, 2005.
17. Expulsion of the Russians by Kabul. August, 2005.

Resolution by Qais Akbar Omar and Stephen Landrigan
18. Performance by Kabul. August 31st, 2005.
19. The Queen’s Palace by Kabul. September 4th, 2005.
20. The Light Garden of the Angel King by Kabul. September 4, 2005.
21. Applause by Kabul. September 8th, 2005
22. Encores by Kabul. September 2005 – April 2006.
23. Mazar-e-Sharif by Mazar-e-sharif. May, 2006.
24. Heart by Heart. May 2006.
25. Curtain by Kabul. December, 2009.
Author’s Note