Rest Upon The Wind. Theatre Review. Unity Theatre, Liverpool.
Cast: Fanos Xenofos, Dina Mousawi, Lara Sawalha, Stephanie Ellyne, Tim Morand, Zak Sawalha, Georgie Farmer.
Written by Jordanian born English actor Nadim Sawalha, Rest Upon The Wind, is a caring, dedicated piece of theatre that has all the hall marks of being written with an abundance of style and leaving very little out of the life of Khalil Gibran.
The Lebanese-American artist, poet and writer maybe largely unknown to the vast majority of people attending the show at the Unity Theatre in Liverpool, however with a lot of writing insight and delivered by all the actors on stage with panache, the name of the third best-selling poet of all time will surely take root in the hearts and minds of the public again.
Rest Upon The Wind looks back over Khalil Gibran’s early life in the Ottoman-controlled area Lebanon through to his desire to set his people free with his writing and art whilst he lived in Boston with his sister. This was played with a gentle exquisiteness that would have lost on other actors by the gracious Dina Mousawi. Then the story moved to his time in New York where he would go onto write with Mary Haskell’s backing, the book that would go on to become his famous piece of work, The Prophet.
Throughout the whole play, the generosity of Mr. Sawalha’s writing of the main character was captured perfectly by Fanos Xenofos. The desires, his love of life and his constant pain became etched on the face of the actor perfectly, evoking passion in turn on the appreciative audience.
One of the elder statesmen of the acting fraternity, Mr. Sawalha is no stranger to film or television audiences; however by writing this play about one of the foremost thinkers of his time, he captures the essence of what it is to be immigrant in a foreign land. Never really taken in by the establishment but lauded as one who will give the answers. In this play alone, Mr. Sawalha shows what can be done with a pen and the ability to bring one of the great poets to life.
Rarely does theatre see a man so lauded and yet so destroyed by life, amazing and beautiful.
Ian D. Hall