Your essential guide to one of Bahrain's best loved events
Time Out Bahrain staff
Now in its tenth year, the Spring of Culture festival keeps residents and visitors of Bahrain entertained through a variety of fascinating cultural performances, readings, exhibitions, lectures and more. It’s organised by the Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities, the Economic Development Board and Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohamed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research, in collaboration with Al Bareh Art Gallery, Al Riwaq Art Space and La Fontaine Centre for Contemporary Art. It’s time to expand your minds, folks!
March 2: John Legend Arad Fort
Multiple Grammy Award-winning R&B and soul singer/songwriter John Legend is performing in an open-air concert at Arad Fort to celebrate the opening of Spring of Culture’s tenth season. He’ll be sitting at his grand piano, accompanied by four string instrumentalists, as he belts out hits and favourites like ‘All of Me’. The concert starts at 8.30pm and you must be over eight to attend. Tickets are available now.
March 5: Mohammed bin Faris Mohammed bin Faris Music Hall In the 13 years that have passed since the Mohammed bin Faris band was established, they have travelled the world introducing Bahrain’s soulful musical identity through traditional arts. During the festival, the band will hold a number of concerts every Thursday from 8pm, transporting audiences to a time of tradition. Entrance is free.
March 5: Omar Khairat Bahrain National Theatre Head out for an enchanting evening of music with acclaimed Egyptian composer Omar Khairat, one of the most prominent Arab composers of his era and the only composer to have incorporated the quarter tune with classical music. His music is influenced by traditional Arab music, European classical works, Egyptian and African folklore, and Western genres such as jazz, pop and blues. Tickets are being sold at Virgin Megastore. You must be over eight years old to attend. www.omarkhairat.com.
A memorable classic Spanish flamenco rendition is being performed by the Rojas and Rodriguez band. The show also features four professional dancers. It starts at 8pm and is free You must be over eight years old to attend. www.rojasyrodriguez.com.
March 13: Hussain Al Jassmi Arad Fort Famed Khaleeji star Hussain Al Jassmi is performing all of his greatest hits from 8.30pm on this night. Tickets are available now and you must be over eight years of age to attend.
March 30: Rima Kheshish Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Centre for Culture & Research Lebanese singer Rima Kheshish blends classics with contemporary music and will be showcasing her best-known hits in this performance from 8pm. It’s free to enter.
March 5-7: Jump Arad Fort
After a successful run of performances in Bahrain in 2008, Jump returns to Arad Fort. This gravity-defying, internationally-acclaimed, slapstick comedy sensation combines martial arts with mind-blowing acrobatics and has met 3.5 million audiences worldwide in 60 cities and 27 countries. It’s a family event although parental discretion is advised as the show contains darkness, loud noises and strobe lighting. Tickets are available now and the show starts at 6.30pm.
March 8-26: Global Warming Bin Matar House
Saudi Arabian artist Faisal Samra presents this multimedia exhibition combining three recent projects in video, installation and painting, reflecting on global warming and recent regional political events. It opens at 7pm on March 8 and then is open Saturday to Thursday 8am-1pm, 4pm-7pm. Entrance is free.
March 9: Farouk Jweideh House of Poetry – Ebrahim Al Arrayed Egyptian poet Farouk Jweideh is noted for his distinctively honest style in the contemporary Arabic poetry scene. Watch him perform for free from 8pm.
March 19-25: The Magic Chicken Salman Culture Centre
This slapstick treat of culinary chaos depicts two under-lectual chefs mixing up a hilarious concoction of comedy cookery when a magic chicken flaps in, turning the stage into a kitchen nightmare. This is one for all the family (minimum age is six). Timings are 4pm to 6.30pm on the 19th and 22nd, and 10.30am and 3.30pm on the 20th and 21st.
March 26: Enkiru and Enka workshop Qal’at al Bahrain site museum Kids aged seven to 12 are invited for a puppet making workshop from 4pm to 6pm. You must reserve a place. Call 1756 7174, email email@example.com.
March 26-27: Shadowland Cultural Hall
This theatrical performance, by the Pilobolus Dance Theatre, which is part-dance, part-theatre, part-circus and part-concert, uses shadows to reveal secrets in a one-of-a-kind show. The performers skillfully use silhouettes to create spellbinding movement. The show starts from 7pm and is free. You must be over six years. www.shadowland-show.net.
March 27-28: Bharati – The Show Arad Fort
This spectacular dance musical portrays a genuine mosaic of traditional and modern India through 40 energetic dancers who engulf the stage adorned in 500 costumes. It’s bursting with colour, giant video projections, authentic scenery, music from Indian cinema, martial arts, acrobatics and more. The event starts at 7.30pm and is for anyone aged six-plus. Tickets are available. www.bharatitheshow.com.
March 8: Archaeological Research in Bilad al-Qadim 2001-2015 Qal’at al Bahrain site museum British Dr Timothy Insoll, professor of African and Islamic Archaeology, will present the results of archaeological research done in Bilad al-Qadim, a suburb of Manama, between 2001 and 2015. The focus is on the Islamic period and on what has been learned about past life, trade, settlement and architecture. The lecture starts at 6.30pm and is free to enter.
March 15: Love: Jack Lang Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Centre for Culture & Research Mr Jack Lang, president of the Arab World Institute in Paris, shares his extensive cultural knowledge and views on culture, art and beauty. Entrance is free and it starts at 8pm.
March 16: The Fai, A Successful Management of Italy’s Natural Heritage, Art & Tradition Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Centre for Culture & Research Dr Anna Gastel, vice president of the Italian National Fund, recaps her experience in the fund, an organisation which seeks to promote Italy’s natural heritage, art, history and traditions, as well as protect the cultural heritage underpinning the identity of the Italian people. Entrance is free and its starts from 8pm.
March 23: Arab Economic Cooperation in Light of the Arab Autumn Abdullah Al Zayed for Bahraini Press Heritage This lecture is presented by Marwan Iskandar, a noted Lebanese economist with an impressive resumé. It starts from 8pm and is free to enter.
March 28: The World Peace Organisation Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Centre for Culture & Research Dr Countess Krystyna Maria Wilczek is dedicated to global peace affairs and her initiatives have inspired her to establish an organisation which works to alleviate war-related disasters, encourage countries to take part in space exploration and enhance the scientific capacities of mankind. Her lecture starts from 8pm and is free to enter.
Tickets and info
Tickets can be bought online through www.springofculture.org and at the Spring of Culture Stand located at City Centre Bahrain, ground floor, entrance 2. For information, call 3990 0630.