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Memoirs of a Sailor

Kuwait City


A modern interpretation of a classic Kuwaiti musical

A country’s past is defined by the stories told by one generation to the next. Kuwait’s history and development over the last 100 years has seen one of the most remarkable cultural and economic changes of any nation.

In Memoirs of a Sailor, the past is brought vividly back to life by the words of an old grandmother, telling her grandson the great story of his family’s rise to wealth. As the boy listens to his grandmother’s words, her memories materialise before his eyes, and he is able to enter and re-live the story of his past.

These themes of memory and imagination were in turn the inspiration for 59’s design team. Our scenic, projection and lighting designs for the production were built around themes of magic and transformation. In re-imagining this much-loved story for a contemporary audience, 59 created a theatrical environment in which anything can happen: the world of Kuwait’s past was conjured out of the present – sand becomes water, dunes become waves. The stage became a beach, a boat, and the rich but treacherous underwater world of the pearl diver.

In creating this magical world, 59 made use of all of the extraordinary facilities of the world-class National Theatre at the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre, establishing an ambitious new theatrical programme for Kuwait.

Opened September 2017

Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre, Kuwait City


Produced by
Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre

Mohammed Al-Fayez

Ghannam Al-Deikan

Yarub Bourhamah

Lighting, Projection & Set Design
59 Productions

Sound Design
Sebastian Frost

Yannis Adoniou

Costume Design
Muneera Al Azawi

Producer (for SJACC)
Talal Al-Muhanna

59 Team

Project Director
Leo Warner

Video Director
Lysander Ashton

Set Designer
Jenny Melville

Lighting Designer
Mark Jonathan

Ollie Hester

Video Designer
Raphael Pimlott

Assistant Video Designers
Dale Croft
Iain Syme

Assistant Set Designers
Kushali Chawda
Claudia Fragoso
Marzio Scottoni

Video Programmers
Rowan Pitts
Magnus Lewrén

David Curtis
Emily Howells
Jarek Radecki
Marco Sandeman
Chris Stoneman

Joanna Pilarczyk Radecka

Lighting Associate
James Smith

Lighting Programmer
Dan Street

Technical Assistant
Iain Syme