Adrift

By Marcus Youssef

Adrift
  • Currently 0 out of 5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thank you for rating this book!

You have already rated this book, you can only rate it once!

Your rating has been changed, thanks for rating!

Sign-up or sign-in to rate this book.


A group of almost-over-the-hill urban Egyptian hipsters gathers every night on a Cairo houseboat where they smoke weed, gab on their cell phones, and rag on everything they think is messing up their lives. Led by their master of ceremonies, a near catatonic petty bureaucrat ... Read more


Overview

A group of almost-over-the-hill urban Egyptian hipsters gathers every night on a Cairo houseboat where they smoke weed, gab on their cell phones, and rag on everything they think is messing up their lives. Led by their master of ceremonies, a near catatonic petty bureaucrat named Anis, they get baked and try to forget that secularists like them are being shunted to the sidelines in the wave of alleged ?fundamentalist” Islamic politics sweeping Egypt and much of the Arab world.

When Samara, a young Islamic journalist joins the group, however, Anis’s spell is broken. From the moment he sees this hijab-clad woman, he starts to remember the ugly journey that brought him to his almost total detachment from the harsh realities of the outside world. Threatened by this incursion into their long-established sanctuary, his buddies try to drive Samara away. But Anis resists. He has fallen in love. Unfortunately for him, however, this seemingly devout journalist also has a couple of secrets of her own.

While Adrift begins as a stoners’ drawing-room comedy, it ends in random, chaotic tragedy?by the end of the play the Nile River houseboat feels like it’s been transplanted to flood-ravaged New Orleans. It is a play about the tragedy of the innocents caught between the Holy Wars of our twenty-first century.

Inspired by the novel Adrift on the Nile by Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, Adrift is set against the backdrop of the US war on Iraq and a region burdened by the gorgon-head legacies of colonialism, corruption and violent dictatorship. It is about a group of people at the epicentre of conflict between the West’s ever-accelerating and utterly ahistorical imperial culture, and its doppelgänger: the tide of religious fundamentalism that is growing ever more powerful in its wake.

Cast of 4 women and 6 men.

Marcus Youssef

Marcus Youssef is one of Canada’s best-known contemporary playwrights. His plays have been produced in dozens of theatres in fifteen countries across North America, Europe, and Asia, from Seattle to New York to Reykjavik, London, Hong Kong, and Berlin. He is the recipient of Canada’s largest cultural prize, the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre, as well as the Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award, the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, the Seattle Times Footlight Award, the Vancouver Critics’ Innovation Award (three times), and the Canada Council Staunch Lynton Award for Artistic Achievement. Over the years Marcus has also written for a half-dozen shows on CBC Radio and Television and a wide variety of Canadian print and web-based publications, with bylines in the Georgia Straight, Vancouver Magazine, This Magazine, Rice Paper, the Tyee, Vanopolis, and Canadian Theatre Review, among others. Marcus is artistic director of Vancouver’s Neworld Theatre and co-founder of the East Vancouver–based, artist-run production studio PL1422. He was the inaugural chair of the City of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Policy Council, a Canadian Fellow to the International Society for Performing Arts, and co-chair of the Vancouver political party The Coalition of Progressive Electors. He is currently an editorial advisor to Canadian Theatre Review and a consulting advisor for the National Arts Centre English Theatre. He teaches regularly at the National Theatre School of Canada, Studio 58 Langara College, and the University of British Columbia. See: marcusyoussef.com / neworldtheatre.com / @marcusyoussef.

Reviews

“…a minor miracle not merely of adaptation but of historical translation too. Adrift highlights the way we suffer the same losses over and over again, raining revenge on revenge. Our struggle, in essence, never changes. ”
Globe and Mail

Reader Reviews

Tell us what you think!

Sign Up or Sign In to add your review or comment.