Saddam Hussein

A Mystery Play

by Yonatan Levy


 In a lyric and ceremonial prose, Saddam Hussein invites the audience to an oily mystery tour. The  theatrical journey into the Iraqi Heart of Darkness explores an invented mythology consisting of the hidden dynamics between East and West. Enclosed in his bunker with three of his doubles, quadrantly reflected, the Iraqi tyrant experiences inner visions, culminating in a final initiation rite which strikes the esoteric meaning of Oil. The actors, all mustached, in red Sufi skirts and khaki shirts, instantly change roles from Iraqis to Americans and back. In an ambiguous melange of metaphysical poetry and pretentious nonsense, accompanied by Gurdjieff-inspired sacred dances, the performance creates a vivid and masculine depiction of Man’s troubled relations to his time, place, history and mainly – his Self.



Photography: Eyal Landsman

Performers and co-creators: Saar Szekely, Nir Shauloff, Amir Farjoun and Yonatan Levy

Live Music: Yiftah Kadan and Harel Gal


Costume design: Ruth Gwily | Sacred dances: Nataly Turjeman

Lighting: Shahar Marom

Video Clip: Arik Futterman


The play premiered at the 2011 Acco Fringe Festival, where it was awarded three prizes including Best Play, and Best Original Music. According to the judges’ committee, “The performance is based on a poetic, political, sharp, and entertaining play. SADDAM HUSSEIN presents a theatrical language that is a harmonious variety of poetic styles, scathing prose, live music and movement. Alongside the troupe’s unified performance, the play allows the actors room for individual expression.”

“This is undoubtedly one of the most original and funny shows I saw, also thanks to the anarchistic energies rising from the superb performance of Levy and his collaborators.” – Shai Bar-Yaakov, Yedioth Ahronoth

“Constant intellectual lust while exciting all five senses. A powerful experience.”  Raz Yisraeli, NRG Culture

“Bursting with wit and poetic talent […] brilliant.”–  Marat Parkhomovsky, Time Out

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