Play helps reinvigorate public interest in theaters in Kurdistan Region


Bablo’s Last Days is a play that everyone is talking about in the Kurdistan Region. With a young cast and director, the play was performed in the theater in Sulaimani for 55 days. And it only stopped due to issues with the theater hall.

In the play, the titular character Bablo suffers from mental issues and creates a magical reality inside his head where all his wishes come true. In this reality, Bablo is wealthy, has a big company, a good family, and lives in a big house.

The play has also been performed in Erbil since June 15. Youth, primarily girls, line up daily in front of Media Hall Theater in Erbil to buy tickets and enjoy the play.

"It is a wonderful play. I enjoyed every second of it,” Gulan Hameed, a 20-year-old from Erbil, told Kurdistan 24 after the performance. "I cried and laughed. The play really moved my senses. The cast was amazing.”

Theater performances were not held in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq for long periods due to past wars. Today, they are gradually recovering and gaining new audiences. Directors, actors, and actresses in Erbil and Sulaimani are working very hard to rebuild the broken bridge between the audience and theaters.

"Everyone must see this play because it is about the current daily issues that we face in our lives,” said Aras Pisthiwan, a 25-year-old female teacher in Erbil. "It is full of jokes that make you laugh out loud and full of tragic incidents that make you cry. This is incredible to have in a play.”

Some youths are not content with seeing the play once and return for repeat viewings.

"This is my fourth time to see Bablo,” said 19-year-old Erbil resident Arisha Saleem. "I watched it twice in Sulaimani and here in Erbil twice too. I never get tired of it. There are so many details and things that one time is not enough to take it all in.”

Shwan Karim, the director of the play, has plans to bring it to Kirkuk, Duhok, and then Germany.

"I am so pleased to see all these people welcoming the play,” he said.

Two weeks ago, a modern version of the classic Shakespeare play Hamlet was performed on stage in Erbil. However, it was only performed for two days due to the lack of theater halls.

"In Kurdistan, we need state-of-the-art theater halls with a good quality of sound and lighting system,” said Karmand Khidir, an actor who won Kurdistan’s KurdActor Show Award. "If we had better theaters, we would surely have better shows because we already have excellent actors and directors.


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