x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Open-air capital antics

Few spots could be more fitting for an avant-garde theatre production than the outdoor experimental venue on the Corniche beach.

Nicholas Nickleby, the character in the eponymous Charles Dickens novel, once proclaimed: "It is a hopeless endeavour to attract people to a theatre unless they can be first brought to believe that they will never get in." But in Abu Dhabi tonight, an open-air, free performance might prove him wrong, as The National reports today.

"When I saw everyone on the sand, surrounded by all the lights, I thought: 'This is pretty amazing, isn't it?'" said the director Rubén Polendo, an associate professor of theatre at NYU Abu Dhabi.

And indeed, few spots could be more fitting for an avant-garde production of Chaos than the outdoor experimental venue on the Corniche beach. The play kicks off tonight and continues until March 5.

A joint collaboration between NYU Abu Dhabi, Theater Mitu and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach), it is the first experience of the capital for the acting troupe.

"Rubén had told us what his plans were when we were in New York, and I thought, 'Oh my goodness, how fascinating!' said actor Mia Katigbak. "And then I saw the design and I thought, 'How beautiful!' And then came, 'Uh, how do we get heard? How do we get dressed with all the sand?'"

Find out tonight.