Joanne Saad

A 30 minute documentary about the making of BANKSTOWN:LIVE, an Urban Theatre Projects production presented as part of Sydney Festival 2015. BANKSTOWN:LIVE saw 40 professional artists collaborate with over 150 Bankstown residents to create eight new works across theatre, dance, music and film, presented in a closed-off section of Northam Avenue, Bankstown, on the street and in the front and backyards of four extraordinary resident hosts.

Presented by Sydney Festival and Urban Theatre Projects

Curated by Rosie Dennis, produced by Urban Theatre Projects

BANKSTOWN:LIVE was made up of nine works:

Bankstown Bayanihan Hopping Spirit House — Alwin Reamillo (PHIL)
Songs from Northam Avenue — Toby Martin & guests (Aus)
The Tribe — by Mohammed Ahmad adapted for stage by Mohammed Ahmad and Janice Muller (Aus)
Bre & Back — Jenny Shillingsworth, Lily Shearer & Beverley Miranda (Aus)
Lullaby Movement — Sophia Brous & guests (Aus/UK)
Family Portraits — Joanne Saad  (Aus)
The Bankstown Dancing Project — Emma Saunders & guests (Aus)
Van  — Vinh Nguyen (Aus)
The Last Word — David Cranston, Michael Kamaleddine, Peter Polites, Robyn Schmitz, Gaele Sobott & Amanda Yeo (Aus)

Leyli and Majnun is an immense love story,
starting as a small poem in ancient Arabia,
 becoming a 12th century Persian literary epic,
and traveling on through lands, languages and cultures.

Leyli and Majnun, having never met,
 simultaneously dream of each other.
 Each falls deeply in love within their dreams.

While awake, they search, but can never find each other,
 only ever glimpsing their beloved while dreaming.

Sleep to keep dreaming! Stay awake to keep searching!

This recital is an expressionistic pastiche of new and existing compositions inspired by the ancient Arabic and Persian story of Leyli and Majnun – one of history’s grand narratives about obsession and higher love!

Leyli and Majnun featured famed Uyghur musician, Shohrat Tursun singing the role of Qays (Majnun) and playing the dutar. He was shadowed by Ngoc-Tuan Hoang on classical guitar as another aspect of Majnun. Leyli had dual representation in Bulgarian singer Sylvia Entcheva and classical and multi-genre artist Susie Bishop. The recital was wrapped in the visual language of artist Joanne Saad and will be directed by Felix Cross MBE. The artistic vision, music and cultural research were facilitated by Blacktown Arts Centre, Dr. Diana Blom and Dr. Ayxem Eli.



As the sun sets over the west, a suburban street in Bankstown becomes the stage for a dynamic program of performance, film and visual arts. Over four hours, you¹re invited into the neighbourhood to see world-class theatre in suburban backyards, watch films around a hills hoist, or sit in a deck chair curb-side and listen to songs of contemporary Australia.

Curated by Rosie Dennis, BANKSTOWN:LIVE builds on the highly successful MINTO:LIVE (Sydney Festival 2011), and features compelling new work by critically acclaimed international and Australian artists.

Share an evening with Urban Theatre Projects, creators of vibrant, site-specific work about contemporary life.

Artists: Alwin Reamillo (Phil); Toby Martin & guests (Aus); Mohammed Ahmad with Janice Muller (Aus); Jenny Shillingsworth, Lily Shearer & Beverley Miranda (Aus); Sophia Brous & guests (Aus/UK); Joanne Saad (Aus); Emma Saunders & guests (Aus); Western Sydney animators (Aus) and Bankstown locals.



Duartion 4 Hours

Northam Ave, Bankstown