Bye Bye from London

Ab­dul­hus­sein Abdulredha takes his fi­nal bow

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -


Kuwaitis of all walks of life, de­mo­graph­ics and af­fil­i­a­tions took the pass­ing away of iconic comedic ac­tor Ab­dul­hus­sein Abdulredha with a heavy heart, as lo­cal and Arab out­lets, in ad­di­tion to so­cial me­dia plat­forms an­nounced the sad news about the renowned ‘Abu Ad­nan’. “Get off my back, I’m in London to have fun, to change scenery and en­joy my­self. I’m not in London to be hos­pi­tal­ized,” was a line ‘Abu Ad­nan’ said in the 1981 play “Bye Bye London.” He was an­nounced dead at the age of 78 in one of London’s hos­pi­tals last night.

Born on July 15, 1939 in Dir­wazat Ab­dul­raz­zaq, Sharq, Kuwait, Abdulredha ranked the seventh among 14 sib­lings. He did not start his ca­reer as an ac­tor, but first worked in the De­part­ment of Print­ing of the Min­istry of Guid­ance and In­for­ma­tion. He then trav­eled on a schol­ar­ship to Egypt in 1956 to learn print­mak­ing, and in 1961 he trav­eled on a mis­sion to Ger­many to com­plete his stud­ies in print­mak­ing arts.

A son of a ‘Nokhetha’ or sea cap­tain, Abdulredha’s tal­ent of per­form­ing to crowds and abil­ity to make peo­ple laugh started with him as a young boy, en­ter­tain­ing his mother with his sib­lings while his fa­ther was away for months a year. This raw tal­ent then was nur­tured, de­vel­oped and put on the right track af­ter Abdulredha re­turned from Ger­many and started work­ing with Egyp­tian direc­tor Zaki Tu­laimat, be­fore a young Abdulredha be­gan to carve his own way to be­come one of Kuwait’s and the Ara­bian Gulf’s art pil­lars.

With dozens of plays, TV and ra­dio se­ries that spanned from the early 1960s all the way to the early years of this Millinnium, Abdulredha had long es­tab­lished him­self as among the few Gulf ac­tors to sear their names in the Ara­bic artis­tic mem­ory. His side-split­ting slap­stick com­edy in the 1960s (eg Hawer Zawer, Al-Mal­gouf), dap­per and dash­ing per­for­mances dur­ing the 1970s (eg Bani Samit, Thahiyat Beit Al-Ezz), and ma­ture and well-rounded pro­duc­tions in the 1980s (eg Fur­san Al-Manakh, Bye Bye Arab), con­tin­ued until the end of his ca­reer, and eventually his life. Abdulredha kept on go­ing, un­stop­pable, even bul­lets could not steer him off.

He was the tar­get of an as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt due to his role por­tray­ing the former Iraqi dic­ta­tor Sad­dam Hus­sein in the 1991 play (Seif AlArab). Ar­guably, one of the best who­ever mas­tered the role, Abdulredha re­fused to can­cel, or even de­lay the show for that night even though he was fired at while on the way to the the­ater. Fre­quently re­ferred to as Kuwait’s forth Tower, Abdulredha was in many ways, and seen by many of his fans of dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions, as the per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of the Kuwaiti man, whether it was for his po­lit­i­cal hu­mor, so­cial rants, or even own speech and ap­pear­ance. — KUNA

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