JEDDAH: “The Black Rose” show at City Walk in Jeddah puts audiences up close and personal with the thrilling and action-packed world of organized crime.
From modern classics like “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo to the hit TV series “Peaky Blinders” and “The Sopranos,” Western pop culture has carved out a genre that is fascinated by the sordid and adventurous criminal lifestyle.
“The Black Rose” brings that experience to the stage through an immersive live performance that depicts street wars between gangs and gives audiences a look at the dauntless world of cinematic stunts.
In the production, a fierce conflict erupts between two gangster families in Detroit, resulting in a sequence of events involving gunfights, explosions and fires.
The spectacle takes place over a massive set that includes three buildings, classic cars and a cast wearing detailed costumes that emulate the early to mid-20th century. It has attracted huge crowds of all ages and nationalities eager to witness the enthralling experience.
The show’s Italian director Filippo Scortichini told Arab News that “The Black Rose” was exclusively designed for Saudi Arabia’s National Events Center.
“We want to take the audience to Chicago in the 1930s through the atmosphere created, so we used the original cars of 1930 from Italy and we took the same firearms, as we wanted to reflect the Mafia and what they do at night,” he said.
Three Saudis are among the 25-member cast and crew of stunt performers.
One of them, 23-year-old actor Mohammed Adel, said: “It is my first time performing in such a huge outdoor theater and with international performers. It is such an honor.
“I have learned so many things from this experience. Although we are taking part in the same show, each one of us was keen to deliver their part in their own special way and that taught me a lot.”
Adel said the performers were also introduced to Saudi theater.
“I explained many things about our acting style here in Saudi and we both are very delighted to go through such an experience.”
Adel has been acting since the age of 18 and has mostly performed in Saudi and historical productions.
Amani Al-Zahrany, who saw the production recently, described the visual effects as “thrilling and daring.”
“The Black Rose” runs until June 6 and there are two performances per day, at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Up to 1,200 people per show can be accommodated and screens transmit Arabic translations to the audience.
The City Walk recreational area is the largest under the Jeddah Events Calendar. It has 10 entertainment sub-zones and hosts events suitable for all age groups. To find out more go to saudievents.sa.