Sami in Paradise

Belvoir Sami In ParadiseAn adaptation of Nikolai Erdman’s Russian classic, The Suicide, Belvoir presents the world premiere of Sami in Paradise for a limited season from 5 April 2018.

Sami in Paradise is set in a nameless displaced persons camp. Sami has lived there so long he is losing hope, and one night he wakes up at the end of his tether. He decides to stake his everything on learning the trombone, little does he realise this small act will soon see him attend his own funeral.

A comedy, brimming with hilarious satire and subversion, Sami In Paradise is directed by Belvoir Artistic Director, Eamon Flack with a diverse cast of hugely talented performers who also contributed to the creation of the work including Paula Arundell, Fayssal Bazzi, Nancy Denis, Charlie Garber, Victoria Haralabidou, Marta Kaczmarek, Mandela Mathia, Arky Michael, Yalin Ozucelik, Hazem Shammas and Vaishnavi Suryaprakash.

The Suicide was originally written during the darkest and most oppressive times in Stalinist Russia. Similarly, Flack and his team have placed Sami in Paradise in modern times, where fear and statelessness are once again the daily reality for millions of people, in a world where the doomsday clock ticks ever closer to midnight. An eccentric and funny work set amidst human tragedy, that uses wit and comedy to illustrate that no one is better than anyone else.

Flack brings all his trademark inventiveness and humour to this free-wheeling show, in the vein of his productions of Twelfth Night, The Rover and Ivanov.

“The play is about the idea that no human is better than any other human, and even if you are robbed of all the basics of your life and all of your dignity, it doesn’t mean you are less than anyone else,” said Flack. “This isn’t a play about other people and other places, it’s a play for anyone who wakes up in the middle of the night feeling a bit worried about the future.”

Sami in Paradise is a fresh new example of how humour has to power to speak truth to power, celebrate life while also defying all that threatens to suppress it.

Director: Eamon Flack Featuring: Paula Arundell, Fayssal Bazzi, Nancy Denis, Charlie Garber, Victoria Haralabidou, Marta Kaczmarek, Mandela Mathia, Arky Michael, Yalin Ozucelik, Hazem Shammas, Vaishnavi Suryaprakash Set & Costume Designer: Dale Ferguson Lighting Designer: Verity Hampson Musical Direction, Sound Design & Composer: Jethro Woodward (in collaboration with Musicians Mahan Ghobadi & Hamed Sadeghi) Movement Director: Nigel Poulton Dialect Coach: Amy Hume Assistant Director: Carissa Licciardello Stage Manager: Luke McGettigan Assistant Stage Manager: Brooke Kiss Stage Management Secondment: Katherine Moore

Sami in Paradise
Upstairs Theatre – Belvoir Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills
Season: 5 – 29 April 2018 (previews: 1 – 4 April)
Information and Bookings: www.belvoir.com.au

Image: Yalin Ozucelik – photo by Daniel Boud

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