Russian Slava brings on his clowning in sell-out show in Saudi Arabia

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The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
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The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
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The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
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The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
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The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
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The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
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The Tickets for the first performance of ‘Slava’s Snow Show’ in Dhahran were sold out on Thursday. (Photo/supplied)
Updated 20 October 2018

Russian Slava brings on his clowning in sell-out show in Saudi Arabia

  • The 900-seat theater at Ithra was sold out for the first performance for “Slava’s Snow Show” in Saudi Arabia
  • The show has scooped 23 awards internationally including London’s Time Out Best Show of the Year

DHAHRAN: The Kingdom is staging the global hit “Slava’s Snow Show” at Ithra’s theater in Dhahran in October as part of the “Tanween” season exploring creativity in art, music, theater, science, literature, cultural heritage and entrepreneurship through a wide range of talks, shows and workshops from all around the world.
“Slava’s Snow Show” was created over 20 years ago in Moscow by the Russian-born artist Slava Polunin, who was inspired by Marcel Marceau and Charlie Chaplin. The show has toured more than 120 cities with more than 7,000 performances in different famous stages and theaters around Europe, America, and Asia. It has been seen by 7 million people worldwide.
The show has scooped 23 awards internationally including London’s Time Out Best Show of the Year and the Drama Desk Awards Exceptional Theatre Project in New York where the show was performed on Broadway.
The 900-seat theater at Ithra was sold out for the first performance for “Slava’s Snow Show” in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, which played to an excited house of all ages. Performances will be held at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture, Dhahran, on Oct. 20, 24, 25, 26 and 27. Slava explained the message behind the show to Arab News. “We aim to demonstrate the Russian art to the Saudi audience,” he said.
He was delighted by the reception at the first performance in the Kingdom. “The audience was wowed. I could see their gasps as I performed. Their fascination showed us how highly they appreciate arts. It is indeed our first time in Saudi Arabia and it won’t be the last.”
During the show Slava takes on many different personas, both cheerful and miserable. His repertoire is more diverse than the two common clowning styles — Auguste and the White Clown. He also invites the audience to interact with him during the show.
"We work to deliver our shows here in Saudi exactly as they are delivered in Russia.”
Slava added: “The theater in Russia is an essential part of the Russian culture and identity and having such shows and performances in Ithra particularly and in Saudi Arabia generally is part of the intercultural relationship between Saudi and Russia.”
When asked about the difficulties that faces this kind of art in theater, Slava said: “The only challenge that we encounter is the traveling exhaustion and that is it.”
“Tanween” events are being held until Oct. 27.


Saudis head out as lockdown eases

Updated 41 min 2 sec ago

Saudis head out as lockdown eases

  • First day of phased reopening sees visitors flock to waterfronts and malls

JEDDAH/RIYADH: As the 24-hour-curfew period ended, residents of Saudi Arabia headed back outside on the first day of the government’s three-phase plan to transition back to normality after the COVID-19 pandemic.

But as people rushed to take advantage of the newly relaxed measures, streets quickly became crowded and several observers noticed that many were failing to observe social-distancing measures.

Prince Abdulrahman bin Mosaad tweeted: “For there to be traffic in the streets is natural after canceling the 24-hour curfew, but what’s abnormal and unbelievable is the amount of people underestimating the necessity of putting on a face mask and a pair of gloves and keeping a two-meter space between people crowding at stores. This is only the first day. Unfortunately, I don’t think Shawwal 29 (June 21) will be the day we go back to normal.”

In a follow-up tweet, Prince Abdulrahman reminded people that the pandemic does not have a cure or a vaccine yet, and wondered whether people would need to lose a loved one before they came to appreciate the severity of the situation.

University lecturer, Abdulfattah Al-Qahtani (@fattah53), agreed, tweeting: “Sadly, not many understand the dangers of the virus, and what they could be doing to their loved ones. It’s very simple; don’t go out unless it’s necessary. If you absolutely have to, follow precautionary measures from wearing a mask to keeping an acceptable distance between you and others.”

Abdulaziz Al-Omar (@11a_alomar) also replied with suggestions. “It’s important to monitor and penalize facilities and shops that do not follow precautionary regulations, as well as fines against those who don’t wear a mask and don’t keep their distance from others,” he tweeted.

The hashtag #JeddahNow was quickly trending on Twitter in response to the number of people leaving their homes unnecessarily.

A number of users suggested that individuals neglecting social distancing and going out in public without a mask and gloves would be “more afraid of a SR10,000 fine than they are of the pandemic.”

However, many thought that people were overreacting to the traffic around the city’s corniche.

Sa’ad Mughram (@saad_mghrm) tweeted: “Don’t blame people for traffic. There are families that have been pressed together for three months in small apartments and reef houses. It’s their right to go out and see the sky on a short car ride.”

He added: “Overcrowding stores needs to be addressed, but things can be dealt with calmly, without overreacting and perfectionism from some.”

Sadly, not many understand the dangers of the virus, and what they could be doing to their loved ones. 

Abdulfattah Al-Qahtani , University lecturer

Some hailed the efforts made by several popular stores around the Kingdom that are enforcing social distancing, such as Madinah’s Starbucks, where a photo circulating on social media showed people lined up with the recommended space between them, demonstrating what was described as “classy behavior.”

Abdullah Al-Humaid, (@abn_humaid) commented: “It’s wonderful to see such awareness displayed in our society. These are people maintaining social distancing while wearing gloves and face masks.”

Meanwhile, many headed onto the streets of Riyadh looking to regain a sense of normality. “Of course, I went out. I took my mom and sister and drove to the nearest mall to run some errands,” 26-year-old Sarah Al-Jasser told Arab News.

However, Al-Jasser said she was unable to enter the shops inside the mall because of long queues. “I was surprised that people were out this early. We were at the mall by 9:30 a.m. and didn’t expect it to be this crowded,” she said.

By 2:30 p.m. most shops and malls were already closed and empty of customers and shopkeepers, abiding by the 3 p.m. curfew.

Rayed Mustafa, 33, told Arab News he believes the situation is still unsafe: “Just because the country is opening up doesn’t mean it’s safe to go out.”  However, that did not stop him from leaving  the house. “I pulled an all-nighter, put on my face mask and gloves and hit the streets at 6:30 a.m. to cruise the city.”

He added that he stayed in his car and was merely hoping to get some fresh air for his mental well-being. “I’ve been confined in a very small apartment for over a month,” he said. “I needed that change of scenery.” 

He said he made sure to abide by the safety and health measures put in place by the Ministry of Health, and refrained from mingling with people.

Mustafa was taken aback by the number of people he saw on the streets. 

“One of the main streets in Riyadh was filled to the brim — some celebrating, others going out for coffee,” he added.

Billboards have been placed around the Kingdom reminding people to comply with the recommended precautions in order to ensure their safety.