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Adrift

Adrift
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Marcus Youssef
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 128
Pub. Date: 2008
ISBN-10: 0889225850
ISBN-13: 9780889225855

About the Play:

Adrift is a play by Marcus Youssef. It is based on the novel Adrift on the Nile by Egyptian Nobel-laureate Naguib Mahfouz.

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 and complicating 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' 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.

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 of commoditization and capital, and its doppelgänger: the tide of religious fundamentalism that is growing ever more powerful in its wake.

Cast: 4 women and 6 men

What people say:

"…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

About the Playwright:

Marcus Youssef is a Canadian playwright, artistic director, and author. Born in Montreal to Egyptian parents, he has often made diversity and the ideas of difference and diversity themes in his work, some of which were co-written with friends and colleagues. His works have been performed at theatres and festivals (and school gyms) across Canada, the US, Australia and Europe. He was named the 2017 recipient of the Siminovitch Prize, Canada’s most prestigious prize in Theatre. He currently lives in Vancouver British Columbia, where he continues his work with community-based advocacy programs that use writing and/or theatre as tools for effecting political and social change.

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