Friday , September 21 2018

‘Bye-Bye London’ actor dies in hospital – Heavy hearts in Kuwait at half-mast


A photo shows prominent Kuwaiti actor Abdulhussein Abdulredha, who passed away Friday evening in London at the age of 78. (KUNA)

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 12, (KUNA): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has expressed deep distress and grief at demise of the great actor Abdulhussein Abdulredha. Kuwait has lost a great iconic personality in the theatrical art, a pioneer and celebrity in the Kuwaiti, Arab and Gulf theaters, His Highness the Amir stated on the somber occasion.

He recalled the artistic message of that stalwart artist, his dramatic and creative contributions that had lasted for 40 years, namely the dramatic and comedian works that would continue to be applauded and admired and would remain a school for those who would follow his steps with regards of his loyalty to the homeland and interaction with its causes.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad expressed admiration for Abdulredha’s great role in promoting and developing the Kuwaiti drama. He prayed for the deceased soul and expressed solace for his bereaved family and fans. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has sent a cable to family of the deceased famous actor Abdulhussein Abdulredha expressing sorrow and solace for the bereaved.

His Highness the Amir, in the cable, noted the deceased contributions to the national artistic movement and his works, distinguished with “high patriotic spirit,” drawing admirations at the local, Gulf and Arab levels. He prayed for his soul and expressed solace to his family. He also prayed for the deceased soul, expressed solace for his bereaved family and fans. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah sent similar cables to the bereaved family.

National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim on Saturday expressed his deepest condolences over death of iconic comedic actor Abdulhussein Abdulredha. Kuwait has lost one of its greatest actors who brought joy to all Kuwaitis and spread principles of nationalism through his rich works, said the Parliament Speaker Al-Ghanim in a statement.

The theatrical and dramatic works of Abdulredha represented the concerns and desires of Kuwaiti people, said the Speaker, adding that these works will always remain a a part of Kuwait’s national history. 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 Friday 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 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 Al-Arab). Arguably, one of the best whoever mastered the role, Adulredha 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 fourth 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. The passing away of actor Abdulhussein Abdulredha is a great loss to the artistic and theatrical movement in Kuwait, the Gulf and Arab region, National Council of Culture Arts and Letters (NCCAL) General Secretariat said in a statement on Saturday.

The deceased was a remarkable model example as a committed and respected actor who dedicated his life for serving the national issues of his country and people, despite his long journey in struggling with his illness throughout various stages of his life. He greatly contributed to developing the artistic movement in Kuwait and the Gulf region along with many companions in the domain, it added. He was known for his comedy works, presented various types of arts, namely acting, singing, playwriting, artistic production in theatre, TV and radio. That made him worth of the title “the iconic figure of Kuwait and Gulf arts”, it said.

Abdulredha contributed to establishing many theatrical groups since the early beginning of the artistic movement in Kuwait back in 1960s of the last century — like the national theater and the Arab theatre. He also founded “Funoon” TV channel, it added. The works of the deceased offers a comprehensive reflection of the social life in Kuwait with all of its economic and political details, the statement said. He shed light with distinguished artistic smartness on important events in the history of Kuwait, and conveyed the feelings of the Kuwaiti people with extreme transparency, it said.

Out of NCCAL’s great recognition to the late actor, it named Al-Salmiya Theatre after his name before he passed away, and honored him in the opening ceremony of “Kuwait Capital of Islamic Culture 2016” celebration, it said. NCCAL expressed its deepest sorrow for losing one of the most remarkable pillars of Kuwait artistic movement, offering its condolences to the family of the deceased and the Kuwaiti and Arab artists. Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and Acting Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah expressed condolences over the demise of the legendary Kuwaiti actor Abdulhussain Abdulredha who died Friday in London aged 78.

The Kuwaiti, Gulf and Arab art movement has lost one of its great symbols, who brought joy and pleasure to the hearts of theater and TV drama lovers, the minister said in a press statement. Sheikh Mohammad expressed sadness to the loss of the renowned Kuwaiti actor who is cherished by his audience across the Gulf and Arab regions. With the death of superstar Abdulredha, the Kuwaiti art movement lost a talented actor and one of the leading theater performers.

The minister highlighted his role in the foundation of Kuwaiti national and Arab theater bands as well as his contributions in stage performance, writing for both theater and TV, composition and singing. He lauded Abdulredha’s works which tackled several political, economic and social issues in a comic manner. He extended his sincere condolences to his family as well as to Kuwaiti and Arab artists. Abdulredha died Friday in London aged 78 after 56-year career life contributing to over 30 TV series, 33 plays, several operettas and songs. Abdulredha acting career is often lauded as the cornerstone of Gulf comedy and the epicentre behind the Golden age of Kuwaiti theatre in the 1970s and 1980s.

Often taking on difficult roles, such as Saddam Hussein in Saif Al Arab or a freewheeling Kuwaiti abroad in Bye Bye London. Abdulredha’s career began in 1961, through play Saqar Qorish Belfaseh. He was a substitute to actor Adnan Hussein and proved a success brought him to fame and art work. Abdulredha was born in Darwaz Abdul Razzaq in Sharq to Kuwaiti parents. He was the seventh among 14 siblings.

He initially worked in the Department of Printing of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Guidance and Information. He then traveled on a study mission to Egypt in 1956 to learn the art of printmaking and in 1961 he traveled on a mission to Germany to complete his studies in the printmaking arts. He promoted in his job until he became an observer in the Printing Section of the Ministry of Information.

Among his famous theater contributions are “Bye, Bye London”, “Azoubi Salmiya” “Haman, O Pharaoh”, and many others. Abdulredha is best known for his personality of sarcastic humor that made a mockery of the Arab situation in comedy template. He was one of the founders of the Arab theater in 1961 and the National Theatre in 1976. Abdulredha is famous because of the beauty of his voice, and this distinguished him from the other artists of his generation.


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