Adapted from Kahlil Gibran’s biographical novel, Broken Wings is a musical set in 1920s Beirut. The story of two star-crossed lovers, Gibran and Selma, is narrated through enchanting music and romantic poetry.
Gibran returns to Lebanon, after studying in the USA, in search of his identity. Shortly after his return, Gibran meets Selma, and they instantly fall in love. However, things are not as simple as Gibran anticipates.
As the story unfolds, we begin to learn of the obstacles that stand between him and Selma. Gibran’s western ideas of love, which he expresses through his beautiful poetry, are not fulfilled, as Selma’s destiny is written elsewhere. Echoing Romeo & Juliet, Selma must marry Mansour to please her father and maintain his honour. The base of this story is one that feels familiar, yet the added layers of poetry and culture make it feel new.
A story of forbidden love – exploring themes of gender inequality, immigration and identity, Broken Wings is resonant with issues that still exist in society a whole century later.
Playing at Charing Cross Theatre, this warm, intimate set captures the charm of the Middle East. Songs of love and passion vibrate through this theatre; the strong vocals of the cast add to the powerful language used in the songs. For me, the performance by Gibran and Selma when they met for the very first time, is one that stood out to me. The connection and chemistry between the two lovers were performed brilliantly! This is what made the tragic ending even more emotional and captured the audience’s hearts.
Lucca Chadwick-Patel / Danny Kaan Photography.
Broken Wings is playing at the Charing Cross Theatre until 26 March 2022 – Get your tickets here: https://charingcrosstheatre.co.uk/theatre/broken-wings
Reviewed by Ridha Sheikh – Ridha is a volunteer writer for Abundant Art. She is a recent History and Politics graduate from Queen Mary – University of London. Ridha is excited to explore and share her strong passion for London’s art scene.