Born and trained in Bagdad, Mokhallad Rasem (1981) is an actor and director. The war in Iraq changed the course of his life and for the last eight years he has been living and working in Belgium. He joined Toneelhuis in January 2013.
His work for the theatre is breathtaking, associative and fragmentary in construction, clear and expressive in its ideas. His is a new voice on the theatre scene. He made a name for himself with Irakese Geesten (Iraqi Ghosts, creative award Theater aan Zee 2010, selected for the Vlaams Theaterfestival 2010). In Toneelhuis he initially concentrated on the European repertoire: Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (2013), Hamlet (2014) Othello (2015).
Parallel to these large scale productions Rasem created short works, among which Waiting (2014), Body Revolution (2015), Zielzoekers (2017) and Delivery Theatre, (2017). Together with Kuno Bakker (Dood Paard, NL) he created De verse tijd (Brand-New Time), a search for common ground between two ‘errant souls’ who, for different reasons, have left their homeland.
ABOUT THE WORK
The work of Mokhallad Rasem is at the same time compassionate and lucid. He draws on themes he is very familiar with – migration, war, displacement – but he treats them with his own touch: quite some of his productions start from intensive conversations with the performers he works with, inviting their own personal narratives into the game, but he always makes sure to lift these narratives onto a more positive, non-conflictual level so as to empower both performers and audiences. Humour, compassion and a strong will not to be victimized are characteristics of his work.