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The Return of Danton (UA)

Author: Mudar Alhaggi / Director: Omar Elerian

A collective of German-based Syrian actors is rehearsing a contemporary adaptation of Georg Büchner’s Danton’s Death. A shattering, political drama, at its centre is a conflict between two giant figures of the French Revolution, Danton and Robespierre.
It is considered to be one of the greatest revolutionary works of European theatre. It is also terribly complex and convoluted, and the translation into Arabic from the German isn’t particularly good.
The company’s director believes this adaptation of a German classic will secure them funding. But the playwright turned dramaturg was more keen on writing a new play about the everyday lives of Syrian refugees living abroad. As the company wrestles with Büchner’s manically intense play, life mirrors art as the two lead actors are caught up in the arguments between the writer and director.
Between catastrophic line runs and overlong cigarette breaks, the four lock horns about their conflicted views on the Syrian revolution and their roles as artists in exile.
Rehearsals progress and the tensions and disagreements grow as the company - almost unknowingly - engage more deeply with the themes of the play: What is a revolution? When does it end? Ten years after the Syrian revolution, do they really understand what happened and how they can tell their story?

The Return of Danton is a new play by Syrian playwright Mudar Alhaggi and directed by Omar Elerian. Written and performed in Arabic, the play is a contemporary exploration of how the dynamics of political revolutions - from the French Revolution to the Arab Spring - can be reflected within the politics of the rehearsal room.

Shubbak (meaning ‘window’ in Arabic) supports and celebrates the diversity of Arab artists' creativity and innovation through its professional and engagement programmes, national touring and biennial multi-artform festival. Working nationally and internationally, Shubbak Festival commission, initiate and develop projects that encourage a wide range of creative approaches in an artist-led process.





Theater an der Ruhr
Akazienallee 61
45478 Theater an der Ruhr


  • Amal Omran
  • Mohamed Alrashi
  • Mohammad Dibo
  • Kinan Hmeidan
  • Suzana Schönwald
  • Uwe Muschinski


  • Omar Elerian
  • Rajha Shakiry
    Stage and costumes
  • Jackie Shemesh
  • Khaled Kurbeh
  • Elisa Cervik
    Scenic artist
  • Immanuel Bartz
    Production management
  • Omar Mohamad
  • Liam Rees
    Direction collaboration
  • Maryam Samaan
    Associated stage- and costume-design
  • Israa Habasch
    Assistant Director
  • Fritz Dumcius
  • Kemal Kilicli
  • Hassan Abdulrazzak
    English translation
  • Sandra Hetzl
    German translation