All great stories start with a little story. And almost all world conflicts are rooted in disappointment and pain. Now that tensions between the West and the Arab world are running increasingly high, the Noord Nederlands Toneel (NNT), Club Guy & Roni and Asko|Schönberg are taking the audience back to how it all began: a father who does not know how to show his love and two brothers who are driven apart. This is the story of Abraham.
The story of Abraham and his sons Isaac and Ishmael is mentioned in both the Koran and the Bible. Ishmael was Abraham’s first son, borne by a slave girl, Hagar. Isaac was the first son of Abraham's wife Sarah. The brothers have an equal place in Abraham's heart. Fearing that her husband does not regard Isaac as the firstborn child, Sara forces Abraham to disown Ishmael and send him and his mother into the desert. Isaac is one of the founders of Judaism and Christianity and Ishmael is the forefather of the Muslims.
The Moroccan-Flemish writer Fikry El Azzouzi wrote the script for Salam. With three dialogues – between Isaac and Ishmael, between Sarah and Hagar and between Abraham (played by Jack Wouterse) and God – the NNT together with Club Guy & Roni and Asko | Schönberg reduce great religious and social conflicts to a human story about love, regret, jealousy, aging, the pain of childlessness and the struggle with parenthood. Those who are familiar with Guy Weizman’s work know that this will not be an historical Bible drama. Weizman is inspired more by the atmosphere and energy in Tarantino's From Dusk Till Dawn. As in other productions, music plays an important role: five young composers have written folk songs specially for the new work, songs which better reflect a new, more human world.