RIYADH: A historic love story, passed down from generation to generation, has taken the stage at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.
“Jamil and Bouthayna,” set in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, is a theatrical musical production that tells the legendary tale of the poet Jamil bin Ma’amar, who fell madly in love with Bouthayna bint Hayyan.
As one of the many events hosted by the Ministry of Culture, “Jamil and Bouthayna” has left crowds speechless with its costumes and choreographed performances, born in the deserts of AlUla.
Two Riyadh, natives Areej Ahmed and Alanoud Bandar, came to see the musical on the opening night. The two friends shared their excitement with Arab News.
“I honestly really enjoyed the show, there wasn’t a single moment where I felt bored or became distracted. Every scene was very captivating and I advise people to come see,” Ahmed said.
“To be honest, I liked it, but it has some vocabulary and music that is dominated by the Jordanian, and not the Saudi, dialect,” Bandar told Arab News.
The performance originally premiered in AlUla in February 2020 at the Maraya Concert Hall as part of the Winter at Tantora Festival.
Fatima Hassan, an Eastern Province native, traveled from Alkhobar just to see the musical on its Riyadh opening night.
“Honestly, the trip was exhausting and I left my husband and children to attend the show,” she said. “The first show was in AlUla and it was too far away to travel so I could not attend.”
She told Arab News that she was thrilled when she discovered the musical was coming to Riyadh.
“I fell in love with the love (story) set in the Arabian Peninsula in AlUla, between Jamil and Bouthayna, and I loved the performance of the actress Amel Bouchoucha, who is the one behind the show,” she said.
The Lebanese Caracalla Dance Theatre troupe brought the love story to life, with its lead performers, Algerian actress Bouchoucha and Syrian actor Samer Ismail, playing Jamil and Bouthayna.
The opening night, which saw the use of poetry, musical composition, video projection, heritage costumes, singing and choreography to portray the story, came to a close with a standing ovation from the audience.
The show will run until June 14 at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University’s Blue Hall with tickets ranging from SR75 ($20) to SR350.