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DescriptionThe room is set up like a conference hall somewhere in the Arab world, or perhaps like the legislative assembly of a small modern state. There are desks with push-button microphones and headsets. Behind, there is a screen, as if someone planned to give a Powerpoint presentation. But the names on the desks are the familiar characters from "Hamlet". The setting of Sulayman Al Bassam's powerful, disturbing version of the "Hamlet" story is a modern Middle-Eastern state whose old king has just died, to be replaced by his brother, a ruthless, westernised dictator who has married the old king's wife to legitimise his rule, and calls his regime a "new democracy".
University of Hertfordshire Press
10 August 2006
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