Arab Idol, Scooby Doo, Mystic India and more top performances
Time Out Bahrain staff
The big summer festival is back with lots of exciting acts and a heavy emphasis on kids’ stuff to keep the youngsters entertained. Magida El Roumi Since bursting onto the music scene in 1974 when she won the Lebanese TV talent show Studio El Fan at the age of 16, Magida El Roumi has gone on to become a hugely popular artist who puts her almost three-octave voice to good use on tender songs written by some of the region’s foremost poets and composers. She has long promoted peace in her Lebanese homeland and the UN Goodwill Ambassador’s Bahrain appearance is entitled ‘A Message of Love and Peace’ in which she will present an evening filled with nostalgia and hope for the future as she performs a selection of her most popular pieces. Sun, August 18. Venue TBC. Minimum age 8 years.
Reflection of Thais A three-strong group of Thai musicians, soprano, violinist and pianist, from the Princess Vadhana Istitute of Music, present a multi-cultural showcase demonstrating how classical music, born 10,000 miles away in Europe, has integrated itself into the lush tropical land of Thailand. From the great masterpiece arias of Puccini, Verdi and Britten to the timeless classics such as Les Miserables and classical Thai pieces. (Free event, limited space. Minimum age: eight years) Tue, August 20. Cultural Hall, 8pm. Free, minimum age 8 years. Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries Those pesky kids are back in a stage musical based on the ever popular spooky crime-fighting animated series Scooby-Doo featuring the much-loved hippy hobo Shaggy, cowardly canine Scooby and their loyal cohorts geeky Velma, hipster Daphne and jock Fred. Expect an evening of mysterious goings on and surprises with plenty of Scooby snacks to make the proceedings go with a swing. August 21-25. Bahrain International Exhibition & Conference Centre, 5pm and 8pm. Ticketed event, minimum age 2 years.
Songs of Five Directions The Ministry of Culture is launching a showcase of Bahrain’s folk music in a series of open air shows at some of the island’s best known sites. The aim is to boost tourism and trade at the same time as educating the public about the kingdom’s rich tradition of music and dance. Well known local folk bands will be performing songs and dances traditionally used to mark important occasions such as the pearling and fishing seasons. August 22-September 6, Thursdays and Fridays. Bahrain Fort Museum, Shaikh Isa House, Muharraq, Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort, Baba Al Bahrain, Isa Town Walkway, 8.30pm. Free, no age limit.
Sanostra – Face It! This looks like an awesome acrobatic combination of sheer power and delicate grace from German group Sanostra which incorporates a mix of elements from swinging poles, bike artists and flying drummers to light dancers and mind-bending trickery. The show features cutting-edge video projections that whisk the audience to a futuristic world, transforming the venue into an alien realm where things are not what they seem. August 29 and 30. Bahrain International Exhibition and Conference Centre, 7pm. Ticketed event, minimum age 5 years. Mohammed Assaf The Arab Idol winner is a young man with an amazing voice and a heartwarming story – a Palestinian living in Gaza, it took him two days, due to border delays, to get to Egypt for the auditions. On arrival he discovered registration was closed so he climbed over the wall of the competition hotel but still faced the problem of getting a number. Joining other contestants where they were waiting, he began to sing for them and another Palestinian, recognising Mohammed’s talent, handed over his number. The rest, as they say, is history. Sun, September 1. Venue TBC, 8pm. Ticketed event, minimum age 6 years. Barney, Let’s Go! Live on Stage Everyone’s favourite big purple dinosaur returns to the island to share his latest adventures in a roller coaster ride of song, dance and fun. In their rush to share their favourite playthings with the audience, Barney’s pals BJ, Riff and Baby Bob accidentally break them all. Thankfully, Barney knows just what to do and takes everyone to a magical toy factory where the toys can be fixed by the imagination machine – a fantastic device powered by the children’s imaginations. September 2-6. Bahrain International Exhibition and Conference Centre, 10am and 6pm. Ticketed event, minimum age 2 years.
Farida Mohammad Ali Known simply as Farida, this acclaimed performer of the Iraqi maqaam is widely considered to be one of the most distinguished female voices of her generation thanks to her incredible vocal range and commanding stage presence. She’ll be performing pieces from her string of best-selling albums. Thu, September 5. Venue TBC, 8pm. Ticketed event, minimum age 8 years.
Mystic India World Tour An extravaganza of Bollywood dance that transforms the stage into a swirling vortex of colour and movement which brings to life both ancient and diverse cultural festivals and traditions and the restless streets of modern Mumbai. Featuring a brilliant fusion of gaudy costumes, ornate jewellery, elaborate sets and stunning lighting coupled with both traditional and modern Indian music, this show offers an experience that’s truly breathtaking. September 8 and 9. Bahrain International Exhibition and Conference Centre 9pm. Ticketed event, minimum age 6 years.
Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf talks to Time Out Bahrain
Congratulations on your win, how did that feel with the world saying you were carrying the hopes of Palestine on your shoulders? Thank you. I sincerely hope that I have represented the Palestinian people well, as well as everyone across the Arab world who supported me throughout the Arab Idol competition. I honestly came in not expecting to win it all, so the moment when they announced my name as the winner came as a shock. I remain eternally grateful for all those who stood by me and believed in my abilities.
What were you doing before Arab Idol and what made you decide to go for it? I am currently studying journalism. As for my participation in Arab Idol, it came about at the urging of my friends and family, especially my mother. I also had an inner desire to share my voice and art with the rest of the world.
How has your life changed since the show? Although it is true that I have become very well-known now, I want to reassure everyone that I am still the same person I was before the show, Mohammed Assaf!
You’ve been compared to the likes of Egyptian legend Abdulhalim Hafez, is he one of your influences? Just being compared to the legend Abdulhalim Hafez is a badge of honour in my opinion because he truly was a one-of-a-kind talent, and it would be amazing if my career was comparable to his.
Do you listen to any Western music at all and do you sing any Western-style songs? Sure, I like to listen to Western music and songs, but my passion is and always will be for Arabic music.
What can the Bahraini audience expect from you when you visit the country? It is a tremendous honour for me to perform in Bahrain. I will do my best to put on a good show and hope the audience enjoys it and has a good time.
Any message for your Bahraini fans? I want to thank all my fans in Bahrain for their support and encouragement during Arab Idol. I love you all, and I look forward to seeing you on September 1.
Summer Festival - Kids' stuff
Nakhool City highlights Nakhool City at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Conference Centre is the home of Nakhool and Nakhoola, the mascots of the festival, where there’s a whole range of things to do from workshops to shows running from August 18 to September 9.
Scheherazade ballet This gorgeous three-act ballet is a great introduction to the dance form for kids as it tells three famous stories from the Tales of 1001 Nights set to the music of Rimsky Korsakov. Many children will already be familiar with the tales of Aladdin, Ali Baba and the 40 thieves and Sinbad, so seeing these wonderful adaptations brought to life will be a real treat. Aug 18, 6pm, Aug 19 and 20, 11am.
Dancing around the world Kids can experience a whole new level of dance learning styles from around the world with Ben Nichols and his crew of dancers. Styles range from hip-hop and break dance to salsa and capoeira and many more. And those who attend regularly may get the chance to perform with the crew. August 19-September 9, 10am and 3pm.
Ranger and the Roo All the way from Australia Ranger and the Roo is the ultimate in eco-friendly kids’ edutainment and youngsters learn how to save the environment as they laugh and dance along with Ranger and his sidekick Roo, the kangaroo, on their quest to teach everyone about the earth we live on. Thursdays and Saturdays, 11am and 3pm.
Shadow puppet workshop From its beginnings in South Asia shadow puppetry spread across the globe as a popular form of entertainment. This workshop introduces two of the main characters and looks at how they are made. August 26 and 27, 10am and 2pm.
Rangoli designs Kids can learn how to make rangolis, colourful geometric shapes filled with coloured rice or sand. Rangoli is a popular art form among Indian women and rangolis are painted on the gound in front of houses. September 5-7.
Nakhool City full programme
Aug 18 & 19: Matryoshka the Russian Nesting Doll (workshop). Aug 18, 6pm, Aug 19, 10am & 2pm. Aug 18-20: Scheherazade (ballet). Aug 18, 6pm, Aug 19 & 20, 11am. Aug 18-22: Songs and tales of the sea (story telling). Aug 18, 6pm, Aug 19-22, 2pm. Aug 18-30: Space and science (edutainment). Aug 18, 6pm, Aug 19-30, 10am-4pm. Aug 18-30: Sgrafitto sand painting (workshop). Aug 18, 6pm, Aug 19-30, 10am & 2pm. Aug 18 & Sep 3-6: Ebru, the Turkish art of marbling (workshop). Aug 18, 6pm, Sep 3-6, 10am & 2pm. Aug 18-Sep 9: Nakhool stars (talent show). Daily 10am. Aug 19-Sep 9: Eco-kids (edutainment). Daily 10am-4pm. Aug 19-Sep 9: Dancing around the world (instruction and practical). Daily 10am & 3pm. Aug 19-Sep 9: Robotics games (technology). Daily 10am & 2pm. Aug 19-Sep 9: Easy arts and crafts: Daily 10am & 2pm. Aug 19-21: Journey with tales and poems (workshop). Daily 10am & 2pm. Aug 19-23: Music (workshop). Daily 10am & 2pm. Aug 19-23: Turkish embroidery (workshop). Daily 10am & 2pm. Aug 20: Kokoshnik Russian head dress (workshop). 10am & 2pm. Aug 21: Painting on eggshells (mosaic workshop). 10am & 2pm. Aug 21: Dinosaur show (theatre). 11am. Aug 22: Contour spot painting (workshop). 10am & 2pm. Aug 22-24: Art of storytelling (workshop). Daily 10am & 2pm. Aug 22-25: My first movie (workshop). Daily 10am. Aug 23: Pyrography wood burning (workshop). 10am & 2pm. Aug 23 & 24: Palestinian songs and stories (storytelling). Daily 10am. Aug 23 & 25: Glove puppets (workshop). Daily 10am & 2pm.
Aug 25-Sep 6: Fibre and felt designs (workshop). Aug 18, 6pm, Aug 25-Sep 6, 10am & 2pm. Aug 26 & 27: Glove puppets (workshop). Daily 10am & 2pm. Aug 30-Sep 3: Reading, vitamins for the brain (storytelling). Daily 10am & 2pm. Aug 31-Sep 2: Karagos-Hacivat Turkish shadow puppets (workshop). Daily 10-am & 2pm. Aug 31-Sep 2: Creativity without limits (art workshop). Daily 10am & 2pm. Sep 3: Modern art of collage (workshop). 10am. Sep 4-6: Painting by squeezing bottles (workshop). 10am. Sep 4-6: Creating art with napkins and kitchen tools. 10am. Sep 5-7: Al-Aqsa Children (song and dance). Daily 10am & 2pm. Sep 5-7: Indian cultural activities (craft). Check www.bahrainsummer.bh. Sep 5-7: Diwali diyas (candle workshop). Check www.bahrainsummer.bh. Sep 5-7: Rangoli designs (workshop). Check www.bahrainsummer.bh. Sep 5-7: India paper quilt craft (workshop). Daily 10am & 2pm. Sep 9: Mirror surface and glass painting (workshop). 10am.