The exploits and adventures of four grandmothers living in an unnamed suburb of Dubai might not seem like the most likely early contender for one of hit stage shows of the year, but when you learn that it’s based on Freej, the UAE’s runaway homegrown animation success, the probability seems instantly more likely. Freej, the animated series, is the brainchild of Mohammed Saeed Harib and in the two years since it first aired on Dubai’s TV screens has become synonymous with UAE popular culture. Unlike its televisual counterpart, however, Freej Folklore, as the live stage show is called, won’t focus on the exploits of the grandmothers alone, but will draw on the whole of Arab history, exploring legends, scientific discovery, literature and historical events. And in what promises to be some of the most spectacular staging ever, the show will incorporate 3D holograms projected across screens measuring up to 41 metres wide and eight metres high, that will interact with live performances from dancers and acrobats. It’s a thoroughly ambitious undertaking perfectly suited to the thoroughly ambitious face of modern Dubai. And it doesn’t stop there – Harib has talked of taking the production ‘on the road to the Middle East and eventually Broadway’. Catch it at home while you can.
Freej Folklore, January 8-18, Madinat Arena. Phone 04 366 8888; www.timeouttickets.com