Showman visits South Tyneside to collect stories for production

Writer and performer Kamaal Hussain.
Writer and performer Kamaal Hussain.

A showman is in South Tyneside to collect stories which will shape a production touring the borough later this month.

Kamaal Hussain is sourcing stories from the borough’s Arab communities to weave into his forthcoming production of Becoming Scheherazade - one of a number of “bite-sized” theatre productions planned for South Tyneside.

I’ve been overwhelmed by how friendly everyone up here is, and by how eager they’ve been to help

Kamaal Hussain

The show incorporates some of the 1001 Arabian Nights stories with real-life tales of Arab migration to Europe.

Becoming Scheherazade is one of four pieces of theatre commissioned by the Cultural Spring to tour community venues in the borough.

The Cultural Spring, an Arts Council England funded project, aims to increase participation in the arts.

The one-man show is the third of the pieces to be delivered, and will be performed at venues including The Customs House, Jarrow Hall, South Shields Football Club, Shields Museum and Chuter Ede Community Association.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by how friendly everyone up here is, and by how eager they’ve been to help,” said London-based Kamaal.

“The show is all about storytelling and is part of a larger project aiming to collect the stories of British Arabs, be they fourth generation or newly-arrived.

“Their voice is seldom heard, particularly in the arts world.

“The show is a bit of a romp, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant and weaves some of the Arabian Night tales with people’s real stories.”

For dates and venues, visit www.theculturalspring.org.uk/event/bitesize