Every nation has a terrible tale to tell, but surely Afghanistan’s is among the worst. In the past three decades alone, this Central Asian country has suffered relentless bombings and violence at the hands of first the Soviets and the mujahedeen, then the Taliban, warlords and American drones. Few adult Afghanis have emerged without emotional scars.
It’s no surprise then that, as artistic genres go, tragedy is not exactly an Afghan favourite: in 2005 when a Kabul-based theatrical troupe looked for a play by William Shakespeare to present – for Afghanistan’s first performance of the Bard in 30 years – the actors sped right past Hamlet, Othello and King Lear and chose instead Love’s Labour’s Lost, a pun-filled, funny and romantic theatrical romp. More
When Corinne Jaber decided to stage the Shakespeare comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost in Afghanistan with local actors, she knew it was an ambitious project. The year was 2005; Shakespeare’s plays hadn’t been performed since the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, and both language and post-Taliban cultural barriers proved nearly insurmountable. More
In March 2005, a chance meeting in Kabul between a French actress and an American playwright allowed for something amazing to happen: a first ever theater production of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost in Afghanistan by Afghan actors and actresses (with men and women appearing on stage together for the first time in almost 35 years) in a native Afghan tongue open for all audiences. More