evolvo by Ayman Baalbaki

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival reveals 2019 dates

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) has revealed the dates for its 2019 edition, along with the first events from its Dance and Theatre programmes.

The UK’s premier annual Arab arts festival will this year commence on Friday 5 July with a launch event and conclude on Sunday 14 July, with its ever-popular finale celebration, Family Day at Sefton Park Palm House.

The announcement comes as tickets go on sale for two of the festival’s 2019 events taking place at Unity Theatre, Chronicles of Majnun Layla and Yara Boustany’s ēvolvō and One Day and One Night Beirut.

The Chronicles of Majnun Layla (Sunday 7 July, 7:30pm), is Bahraini poet Qassim Haddad’s powerful rendering of the classic love story of Majnun Layla, often described as the Arab Romeo and Juliet.

The story of love, passion, eroticism and unfulfilled desire has been transformed into a bilingual live experience by renowned Palestinian actor and writer, Amer Hlehel, and radically reinterpreted with an original, contemporary soundscore and live performance by Rihab Azar and Kareem Samara on acoustic and electric oud.

On Thursday 11 July (7:30pm), Unity Theatre welcomes renowned Lebanese visual artist and performer, Yara Boustany to perform two of her works. Complex, magical and filled with wondrous images and optical illusions, ēvolvō follows a journey from idyllic nature in the mountains of Lebanon, to the busy street-life of Beirut with its startling roofscapes and noisy traffic.

During this journey a strange creature invades the city, is it an ancient monster or an image of the city drowning in plastic pollution? ēvolvō, like an open-ended riddle, leaves the audience to make its interpretation.

One Day and One Night Beirut is Boustany’s shorter work, reflects everyday life in Beirut, depicting 24 hours from sleep to wake – a journey from dreaming to reality.

Both performances are presented by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and produced by Shubbak.

Each year, LAAF attracts tens of thousands of people from Liverpool and beyond, for a thrilling showcase of the richness of Arab culture, with a packed programme of visual art, music, dance, film, theatre, literature and special events taking place in venues across the city.

Confirmed venues for LAAF’s 2019 edition include Picturehouse at FACT, Bluecoat, Philharmonic Music Rooms, Unity Theatre and OUTPUT gallery, with more to be announced.

For more information and to book tickets visit www.arabartsfestival.com

Image: ēvolvō by Ayman Baalbaki