After a slightly sleepy January, a month of February brings back life to the UAE stages. We are lucky – not like most of the audiences abroad – to be able to experience the performances live! They are shown under the strict COVID-19 precautions set by the government, so safe to enjoy! This month offers more than usual genres and styles: from solo dance performance to ethnical dance to big ballet and opera production! Valentine – as we would expect it to – will amuse with kisses, the French will laugh, the Indians will dance and everyone will improvise. The Short+Sweet Festival will dominate the theatre stage, and the premier of a contemporary flamenco performance straight from Madrid will be a treat for dance connoisseurs!

Scroll down and find your favourite event: 

WEDNESDAY NIGHT IMPROV’: MAESTRO | IMPROV THEATRE | THE COURTYARD PLAYHOUSE | FEB 3, 10, 17 & 24, 8.00PM | ENTRANCE: RSVP, DONATIONS EXPECTED

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

Fast-paced, unpredictable, and hilarious. Ten of Dubai’s virtuoso actors converge for a night of scenes, songs and games based on audience suggestions. You score the players on a scale of 1 to 5, and after each round, the players with the lowest scores are eliminated. When only one remains they are crowned the Maestro!


GISELLE | BALLET | THE DUBAI OPERA | FEB 4, 5 & 6, 2.00PM & 8.00PM | ENTRANCE: FROM 300AED

*Photo courtesy of The Dubai Opera.

Russian State Ballet and Opera House comes to Dubai Opera with the most romantic ballet in the world, Giselle.

The gravely ill peasant girl Giselle falls in love with the handsome Prince Albrecht, who has been unfaithful to her. When jealous rivals claim her fiancé, the heartbreak is too much for her to bear. Weakened by her ill health and driven mad by despair, Giselle takes her own life. After her funeral Prince Albrecht visits her grave. The spirits of women betrayed before their wedding days return to take revenge on their philandering fiancés by dancing them to death. Only Giselle’s powerful love saves the remorseful Albrecht from this cruel fate, proving that love can conquer all – even death.

Former award-winning Bolshoi Ballet Soloist Konstantin Ivanov has created an original production superb set and handmade costumes. Giselle remains one of the most celebrated classical ballets!


BIZET’S CARMEN | OPERA | THE DUBAI OPERA | FEB 7 & 8, 8.00PM | ENTRANCE: FROM 650AED

*Photo courtesy of The Dubai Opera.

Russian State Opera is set to delight you with the powerful and dramatic production of Carmen – feel the thrill of fiery passion, jealousy and violence of 19th century Seville in Bizet’s most popular opera. Carmen tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who falls head over heels in love with Carmen, a seductive, free-spirited femme fatale. The infatuated Don José abandons his childhood sweetheart and neglects his military duties, only to lose the fickle Carmen to the glamorous toreador Escamillo.

The music of Carmen has been widely acclaimed for the brilliance of its melodies, enthralling atmosphere and orchestration, as well as for the skill with which Bizet musically represented the emotions and suffering of his characters. Love, treachery, passion and betrayal, Carmen has it all.


VERDI’S AIDA | OPERA | THE DUBAI OPERA | FEB 7 & 8, 8.00PM | ENTRANCE: FROM 600AED

*Photo courtesy of The Dubai Opera.

Russian State Opera is coming to Dubai Opera to delight you with Opera, Aida. The brand-new production guarantees to dazzle you with sumptuous sets and splendid new costumes. Verdi brings the ancient Egypt on stage with evolving love story at the backdrop of war. The princess of Ethiopia (Aida) falls in love with the Egyptian General (Radames) and he is also besotted by her. Radames is chosen to lead the war with Ethiopia by the king and Aida is left to choose between her lover or her father and her country. Aida is a gripping love story that will keep you on the edge of your seats until the very end. A deeply moving opera overflowing with emotion and containing moments of despair and uncertainty. Aida is an unforgettable, inspiring experience.


Short+Sweet 2021 Dubai | Theatre Festival | THE JUNCTION | Various dates & timings | entrance: from 100AED

*Photo courtesy of The Junction.

The ninth annual 10-min-play theatre festival  Short+Sweet Dubai will run for eight super weeks from January 22nd to March 20th, 2021. According to Gautam Goenka, the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of The Junction, ”Short+Sweet is one of the most exciting events on the calendar of Dubai theatre. Ranging from drama to comedy and sometimes even horror, this Festival is a definitive must watch for all, especially those that enjoy the stage. As always, Short+Sweet audiences have a very important role – voting for the best plays and deciding their progress to battle it out for the title of Short+Sweet 2021 Dubai Winners.


NT LIVE SCREENING: HANSARD  | THEATRE | THE COURTYARD PLAYHOUSE | FEB 4 & 5, 8.00PM | ENTRANCE: EXCLUSIVE TO MEMBERS*

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

See two-time Olivier Award winners, Lindsay Duncan (Birdman, About Time) and Alex Jennings (The Lady in the VanThe Queen), in this brand-new play by Simon Wood, broadcast live from the National Theatre in London.

It’s a summer’s morning in 1988 and Tory politician Robin Hesketh has returned home to the idyllic Cotswold house he shares with his wife of 30 years, Diana. But all is not as blissful as it seems. Diana has a stinking hangover, a fox is destroying the garden, and secrets are being dug up all over the place. As the day draws on, what starts as gentle ribbing and the familiar rhythms of marital scrapping quickly turns to blood-sport.

Don’t miss this witty and devastating portrait of the governing class, directed by Simon Godwin (NT Live: Antony & CleopatraTwelfth Night) and part of National Theatre Live’s 10th birthday season. 

*To gain access to NT Live screenings, you need to purchase the membership. More information on the website.


IMPROVISED KIDS’ STORYTIME: LITTLE DAHLINGS  | AN IMPROVISED PLAY | THE COURTYARD PLAYHOUSE | FEB  5, 12, 16 & 26, 11.30AM | ENTRANCE: EXCLUSIVE TO MEMBERS*

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

An improvised play for kids, celebrating the splendiferous world of Roald Dahl. Dive into the magical mind of one of the most adored children’s authors in this unique and interactive play created by you, the audience! Help Roald decide on the hero of our story, and the villains, monsters, friends and animals we will meet along the way. Expect music, singing, dancing, silliness and sumptillious adventure…whether you are a fan of greedy Augustus Gloop, musical genius Matilda or the terrible Twits, Little Dahlings will make you tickle with trepidation and churgle with laughter. Suitable for ages 3-100.

*To gain access to NT Live screenings, you need to purchase the membership. More information on the website.


LE CLAN DES DIVORCEES  | Comedy | The Theatre AT Mall of Emirates | FEB 6, 6.00PM | ENTRANCE: FROM 200AED | LANGUAGE: FRENCH

*Photo courtesy of The Platinum List.

Three divorced women share the same apartment: Stéphanie the high class one,  Mary the British one and Brigitte the one from the countryside. Stephanie, recently single, decides to change her life starting to settle in Paris. To live in her large apartment she is looking for two roommates; it will be under the guise of two other divorced women: Mary, a little saucy English who just left a man over; and Brigitte, rural divorcing too. These three women characters and different social statuses go through this ordeal mutually supporting.


SUNDAY NIGHT COMEDY: THIS IS IMPRO | IMPROV THEATRE | THE COURTYARD PLAYHOUSE | FEB 7, 21 & 28, 8.00PM | ENTRANCE: RSVP, DONATIONS EXPECTED

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

“This is Impro” is an evening of scenes, stories and narrative improvisation influenced by our audience’s suggestions and featuring our most experienced performers.


SING IT! THE IMPROVISED MUSICAL | IMPROV THEATRE | THE COURTYARD PLAYHOUSE | FEB 8, 15 & 22, 8.00PM | ENTRANCE: RSVP, DONATIONS EXPECTED

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

Sing it is the Courtyard Playhouse’s new and completely improvised full-length Musical Theatre show! Songs, lyrics and dance numbers will be spontaneously created by our cast and fashioned into a full-length improvised Musical extravaganza! Entirely based on audience suggestion and utterly different each week, join us on Monday evening’s at the Courtyard Playhouse and Sing It!


Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain | FAMILY SHOW | THEATRE BY QE2 | FEB 12, 13 & 14, 1.00PM | ENTRANCE: FROM 120AED

*Photo courtesy of The Platinum List.

We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! So, it’s time to prepare yourselves for this very special production of Horrible Histories live on stage! Can you beat battling Boudicca? Would you be a martyr for the Magna Carta? Will you lose your heart or head to horrible Henry VIII? Will Parliament survive gunpowder Guy? Dare you stand and deliver to dastardly Dick Turpin? Escape the clutches of Burke and Hare and move to the groove with party Queen Victoria! It’s the horrible history of Britain with the nasty bits left in – to entertain the whole family!


VALENTINES SPECIAL:  FIRST KISS | IMPROV THEATRE | THE COURTYARD PLAYHOUSE | FEB 12, 13 & 14, 8.00PM | ENTRANCE: RSVP, DONATIONS EXPECTED

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

A dimly lit room…the piano music twinkling gently as soft laughter fills the air…there’s no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than a night at the theatre. Join us at the Courtyard Playhouse for a night of romance, laughter and love, as our improvisers entertain you with scenes based on audience suggestions. They might even act out your own love story!


Āhuti by The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble in collaboration with The Chitrasena Dance Company | South Indian Odissi and Sri Lankan Kandyan Dance | ONLINE SCREENING | the Arts Centre NYUAD | FEB 17, 7.00PM | ENTRANCE: RSVP, FREE

*Photo courtesy of The Arts Centre NYUAD.

Renowned dance companies Nrityagram Dance Ensemble and Chitrasena Dance Company collaborate to create a contemporary fusion of classical Odissi classical dance from India and traditional Kandyan dance from Sri Lanka. The work engages in a conversation between the distinct dance traditions and movement vocabularies of each country, in the second cross-cultural collaboration between these two acclaimed companies. This performance was filmed on the 20th of September 2019 at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore, India.


NO MORE VERSIONS: LOVE, THE MAGICIAN | BY FERNANDO LOPEZ | CONTEMPORARY FLAMENCO DANCE | SIMA PERFORMING ARTS | FEB 19 & 20 | ENTRANCE: TBC

*Photo courtesy of the artist.

A contemporary flamenco dancer Fernando Lopez brings his new solo performance “No more versions: Love, The Magician” to Dubai. “Love, the Magician” can be considered the first Spanish Ballet in the 20th Century. It became a jewell recreated and versioned by very important choreographers in Spain until nowadays. Fernando López, invited by the orchestra director Asier Puga, decided to created a “non version” of this repertory piece, transformed into every single role of the story and reflecting about the notion of “repertory” and “repetition”: how can a body create a new danced gesture without repeating all the movements that others made before him?


LE PERE NOEL FONT DU SKI | THEATRE | THE JUNCTION | FEB 23, 24 & 25, 8:00PM | ENTRANCE: FROM 100AED | LANGUAGE: FRENCH

*Photo courtesy of The Junction.

When “LE PERE NOEL EST UNE ORDURE” meets “LES BRONZES FONT DU SKI”! These 2 masterpieces from the theatre group SPLENDID, mixed in 1 play! Our students from Culture Emulsion Drama School are on stage for the 1 st play from 2021 TOUS EN SCENE! Be prepared!


NT LIVE SCREENING: WAR HORSE | THEATRE | THE COURTYARD PLAYHOUSE | FEB 25 & 26, 8:00PM | ENTRANCE: EXCLUSIVE TO MEMBERS*

*Photo courtesy of The Courtyard Playhouse.

War Horse based on the ​beloved  novel by Michael Morpurgo, adapted by Nick Stafford in association with the Award-winning Handspring Puppet Company. At the outbreak of World War One, Albert’s beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the Cavalry and shipped to France. Though still not old enough to enlist he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home. Now seen by more than 8 million people around the world, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama is a show of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-size puppets by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

*To gain access to NT Live screenings, you need to purchase the membership. More information on the website.


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