February – Arab Revolutions Theme - Music, Art Exhibitions, Talks, Films and Theatre featuring Dissident Puppets!

Sifting through the events coming up this month, I've picked up on the recurring theme of the Arab Revolutions being re-addressed and re-explored in different artistic ways. As theatre goes, February sees a brave new triad of plays - titled 'The Singing Stones' - that creatively tackles the challenging role of Arab women during and post-revolutions.

Serious with dark-humour, it will feature some original films made by the real-but-anonymous members of the dissident Syrian puppeteer company Masasit Mati; who have acquired a powerful online reputation for using finger-puppetry to firstly mock President Bashar al-Assad and whom continue up until now to cross borders between Lebanon and Syria in order to put up their political-lampooning performances.

I was also very fortunate recently to be able to speak with the acclaimed director Kay Adshead and the British Syrian-Lebanese actress, Alia Alzougbi, who is taking part in 'The Singing Stone's' to get some insight from them before the play opens this week at the Arcola Theatre. You can read the full article here: http://www.nahlaink.com/features/%E2%80%98-singing-stones-brave-new-play....

Another big highlight this February will be the rare opportunity to attend and listen to the strong voice of the gorgeous Tunisian singer, Emel Mathlouthi, who will be bringing her Arabic revolutionary songs to the Rich Mix in Shoreditch on Valentine's Day. Mathlouthi's music has been described as the "Soundtrack to the Arab Spring" and is truly not to be missed.

And, of course, there is more. I will just mention another two events before I sign off and refer you to My Curious Inbox. There will be 'Fireworks' - aka 'Al'ab Nariya' –a new play by Dalia Taha to be held at the Royal Court Theatre from 12 February-14 March, 2015; and, second, the '47Soul' UK Tour kicking off in London on 6 February, 2015.

For all the details, I refer you to My Curious Inbox: www.nahlaink.com/curious-inbox.

Best wishes to all!

Nahla Al-Ageli

Freelance Journalist

London, 2015