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London's Theatre of the East

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From 8 November 2019 until 14 February 2020

Dr Johnson's House and The Arab British Centre, neighbouring organisations based in Gough Square, are delighted announce the launch of their collaborative project London’s Theatre of the East. The project invites artists, researchers and the public to (re)examine the historical connections of the Middle East and North Africa and London, via the lens of Dr Johnson’s 1749 play, Irene, set during the fall of Constantinople.

Four artists, designers and writers – Nour HageHannah Khalil, Lena Naassana and Saeida Rouass – have been commissioned to respond to the historical context and content of the play, with the support of academic advisors including Dr Jerry Brotton, author of This Orient Isle. The artists examined the period and influential encounters between London and the region from the 16th century onward, when Queen Elizabeth I first started trading with Muslim nations. Their responses will be showcased in an exhibit at Doctor Johnson’s House which will be accompanied by a series of public activities including performances and workshops.

Explore the largely hidden histories of trade and migration, their impact on society and culture, and the subsequent ripples into the present day.

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Moorish Ambassador

Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun Moorish Ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I
unknown artist

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