Mashrou Leila


The Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila has become legendary since last year when their concert in Beirut was cancelled due to homophobic hostility. On that occasion, their music was played on all the city’s radio stations. Since its foundation ten years ago, the band has built a following far beyond Lebanon. On the one hand, this is due to the quartet’s mercurial electro pop, sometimes light-footed at other times melancholic. This is reminiscent of the disco-like sound of New York band Hercules & Love Affair, with which Mashrou’ Leila has collaborated. On the other hand the four musicians are not only explicitly critical and political in their songs: They actively campaign for LGBTQ+ rights, political freedom and a liberal Arabic society and have become icons for their generation.

Due to the global lockdown, the four musicians are in two different continents, so they adapt their collaboration accordingly. Via file exchange, they are working on new pieces in New York and Beirut, some of which might be heard, along with already-known songs, during the collective listening at the Theater Spektakel. In between, they will share insights into their everyday life in New York and Beirut. This is, in short, a transcontinental concert of music and stories especially created for the Theater Spektakel and a premiere also for Mashrou’ Leila. (rb)


About the Collective Listenings

Collectively listening to the radio on picnic blankets on the Landiwiese is one of the festival’s answers to the pandemic. Performers and musicians from Beirut, Nairobi, Windhoek, New York and Oslo have developed new audio-formats for summer evenings in Zürich. Two things have always characterised the Theater Spektakel: community and international diversity – both of which are presently close to impossible. And so, we have asked these artists to create projects for an audio format from afar. During these «Collective Listenings» you sit on a picnic blanket with a radio. Together with hundreds of other people, you can listen to songs and stories by the US performance artist Laurie Anderson, a moderated concert of the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila, a soundscape by the Namibian performer Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja or «Calls of the Hummingbird» told by four storytellers.


Artistic direction and cast

MitHamed Sinno, Haig Papazian, Carl Gerges und Firas Abou Fakher

BildTark Moukaddem


Site map

Collective Listening to the Radio with picnic

Commissioned work, premiere


Arabic, moderation: English

Registration / Seat reservation

mandatory via ticketing (see below)

Picnic baskets

from CHF 25.- (with meat or vegetarian), please order in advance via ticketing.
Distribution 30 Aug from 19 hrs.

Protective measure

One «infection community» per picnic blanket is allowed. So, if you buy a ticket just for yourself, no one else will sit on the blanket with you. People living together are asked to reserve a shared blanket (maximum of four people).

Openair event

In case of heavy rain, the collective listening will also be presented online. Check and Facebook no later than two hours before at the latest to find out if the performance takes place.



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