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June 3-4-5

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About the festival
"The Beirut Spring Festival", created and launched in 2009 by the Samir Kassir Foundation, is inspired by the title of one of the last articles written by Samir Kassir, shortly before his assassination in 2005.

This event, targeting the broad general public, is unique both in its concept and program.The goals of the Festival and its particular character have generated such a warm welcome from the public.

The Festival is the first of its kind in Beirut.

The Festival features multidisciplinary international performances (theater, music, dance, conferences...) revolving around the themes of tolerance and cultural diversity, especially in societies facing violence and injustice.

The Festival features exclusive one-night performances scheduled over a week in different venues across Beirut.

The Festival supports contemporary art creation and energizes Lebanon’s cultural and artistic life, built on the belief that art is the ultimate way to tolerance.

The Festival thrives on the young generation’s interest in maintaining ties with the vision and thoughts of Samir Kassir.

The free admission to the Festival provides all categories of the Lebanese society with unrestricted access to original, non commercial art works.
This festival has grown thanks to the financial and moral support of friends, sponsors and especially the civil society.

Thank you for your loyalty,


Program
Archive
June
3
9:00pm
Stand-Up Comedy

A new one hour show by Nour Hajjar

June 3, 2022 - 9:00 PM

Al Madina Theatre
We are happy to open the 14th edition of the Beirut Spring Festival with a special one hour stand up comedy performance by the one and only Nour Hajjar! Save the date on June 3 at 9.00 PM at Al Madina Theatre and make sure to come early to secure a seat for you and your friends or family.

No reservation, free entrance! First come first served.

Biography:

Nour Hajjar is a Lebanese stand-up comedian whose content tackles subjects ranging from social issues and common everyday situations to an in-depth analysis of hypothetical scenarios.

Nour started his comedy career in 2016 in the Netherlands where he performed in English for international crowds in several venues in Amsterdam. It is in 2017 when he came back to Lebanon, that he started to perform in Arabic and played in several venues in Lebanon such as KED, Metro Al Madina, NOW Beirut, Riwaq, Tournesol Theatre and more. He also played in a comedy series on Shahid called Fixer.

Nour opened for the American comedian Al Lubel several times during his career. He also contributes to satirical articles in Al-Hudood magazine. He briefly worked on the satirical show BBCHI that aired on LBCI and also ghost-wrote for a couple of mainstream Lebanese comedians. Since 2021, he is a writer on Maakhar B Leil presented by Salam Zaatari.

Nour has two one-hour shows available on CINEMOZ.

June
4
9:00pm
Dracula: The Untold Story/United Kingdom

Film screening on June 4, 2022 – 9.00 PM

Al Madina Theatre

In English with French subtitles
Meet us at Al Madina Theatre, Hamra, on June 4 for a premiere film screening “Dracula: The Untold Story” at 9.00 PM [in English with French subtitles].

This film is a live graphic novel and a new story that picks up where the original novel of Dracula finishes and follows the adventures of Mina Harker, the 'heroine' of the classic gothic vampire tale.

The film is a co-production between two British based companies imitating the dog (ITD) and Leeds Playhouse filmed by Sodium Films and supported by the Arts Council England.

Exactly 10 years ago, in 2012, the Beirut Spring Festival had the pleasure to host ITD for its 4th edition during which they performed their theatre play “Hotel Methuselah”.

Using the latest digital technologies, imitating the dog engages with the dark landscape of the gothic with a renewed energy and political insight.

PLOT:
New Year’s Eve, 1965, London, England.

Just before midnight, as revellers celebrate the beginning of another year, a young woman enters Marylebone Police Station and confesses to a brutal murder.

She claims to be Mina Harker, the last living survivor of the intrepid group that witnessed Count Dracula’s destruction 70 years before.
But Mina Harker has not been seen since 1901.
And if she was alive, she would be ninety years old.

As Mina confesses to events that are much more terrifying than in the original, she retells the events of Bram Stoker’s classic novel. She claims it’s the true story. The untold story. And she must tell it now, before sunrise, before it’s too late, before…

Cast:
Riana Duce as Mina Harker.
Matt Prendergast as DS Donaldson.
Adela Rajnović as WPC Williams.

 

No reservation, free entrance! First come first served.

Other
performances
June
5
9:00pm
Rise and fall of Orient Swiss – Bedtime stories

A live listening piece by Chrystèle Khodr

June 5, 2022 - 9:00 PM

 Samir Kassir Square
In Arabic with English subtitles
This year, we will close the Beirut Spring Festival with a live listening performance “Rise and fall of Orient Swiss – Bedtime stories” by the Lebanese author, actress and director Chrystèle Khodr. Join us on June 5, 2022 – 9.00 PM at the Samir Kassir Square, Beirut Downtown. [In Arabic with English subtitles].

The performance is sponsored by the Embassy of Switzerland to Lebanon and Syria.

Almost exactly one year after the catastrophe of the Beirut port on August 4, 2020, Chrystèle Khodr recorded the text for this listening piece in Beirut, for which she follows up the legend of the «Switzerland of the Orient». Because that is how Lebanon was called in the 1950s and 1960s. However, according to Chrystèle Khodr, the strange thing is that many people in Lebanon still rave about this «Switzerland of the Orient», which – despite banking secrecy – never really existed.

Partly responsible for this may be the well-known historical figure Youssef Beidas, a Palestinian- Lebanese businessman and banker whose endeavour was throughout his life to develop Beirut as the Middle Eastern centre of trade and finance. In 1951, he founded Intra Bank – once the largest bank in Lebanon, whose controversial bankruptcy in 1966 casts a long shadow into the present and shapes collective memory (and forgetting) in Lebanon still today.

This live listening piece traces the story of Youssef Beidas from the Beirut of the 1960s to his arrest in Switzerland and finally his grave in Lucerne. Sometimes tenderly, sometimes mockingly, and sometimes almost mechanically, Khodr tells episodes from past and present crises. She reports from her everyday life in a country where people wait in vain for hours in front of the bank to withdraw some money for rent and food, from conversations with friends in real Switzerland, which seems farther away than ever, or from the hours before the explosion on what seemed to be just an ordinary day in the midst of an ongoing collapse. In the end, her story returns to the crumbling remains of the grain silos in the port of Beirut – once devised by Youssef Beidas – half of which withstood the explosion wave and shielded part of the city from greater destruction.

The performance was commissioned as a live listening piece by the Zurich Theatre Spectacle with the support of AFAC, Mophradat and Al Mawred Cultural Resources in 2021 and will be premiered in Arabic with live English translation at the Beirut Spring Festival 2022.

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