The Semitic Root presents an immersive murder mystery loosely inspired by the unnamed Arab character killed in Albert Camus' novel 'The Stranger.' More…
Audience members enter a traditional Arab storytelling café, where for centuries masters of the oral tradition wove tales of intrigue. Experience French Algiers on the brink of revolution, and witness three Arab brothers vie for the love of the same woman. Their bitter rivalry ends only when one is gunned down by a French stranger. Written by Betty Shamieh ('Fit for a Queen') and directed by May Adrales ('Vietgone').
“Noble, if misguided…The concept is a potent one. The execution? Not so much…A tale-within-a-tale that has a lot of big ideas but a sloppy way of getting them across…Unfortunately, Shamieh’s characters are presented as types, a quality badly accentuated by most of the performances…There's plenty to recommend ‘The Strangest’ in spirit...But in practice, Shamieh’s tall tale never quite connects.” Full Review
"It is a noble experiment, but Camus’ existentialism sits uneasily with Shamieh and The Semitic Roots' 'activist agenda'...For a play that’s all about mystery, little is left to the imagination...More than which son will get murdered, many in the audience may wonder why the playwright spent so much time on Layali and her sexual adventures if she was really trying to make a comment on French colonialism. In the end the real mystery is what is this all about?" Full Review
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