BEIRUT: British MP George Galloway’s attack on the pro-Israeli bias of a Sky News presenter during the Lebanon war of 2006 launched a Middle East media sensation. And now his life is being set to music.
‘What a Silly Person You Are’, which takes its name from one of Mr Galloway’s most memorable lines from the confrontation, is a toe-tapping account of a typical week during the Scot’s courageous battle to appear on the region’s television screens more often than Rafiq Hariri’s portrait.
Notable songs include “He Ain’t heavy, Hezbollah”, “Sitting on the Dock of Beirut” and the show-stopping climax “Lebanon a Prayer”, all sung in the original Glaswegian by an ensemble cast of idealistic AUB students.
“I wanted to really understand who this man was,” says Elia Khoury, composer and Jounieh resident. “Like, get inside the mind of someone who thinks he can be the voice of the Lebanese people from an armchair in Kensington while we’re all sitting here getting our asses blown off…”
The musical is also set to include some of the colourful rhetoric used following Galloway’s recent victory in the Bradford-west by-election, and a scene loosely based on his appearance in Celebrity Big Brother.
Critics have so far offered a cool response, although the Daily Star arts editor did offer praise for George’s duet with the late Christopher Hitchens, called simply “Kiss My Ass”.
The debut performance will take place in a bombed-crater in Daheeya, sometime between May 14th and 18th.