Performer Lucca Chadwick-Patel talks about starring in adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s ‘Broken Wings’, showing at the Charing Cross Theatre

First published 110 years ago in 1912, celebrated author Kahlil Gibran’s novel Broken Wings is noted for its progressive stance on the rights of women – the novel’s central narrative, a tale of ill-fated love set in 1920s New York, as an ageing Gibran narrates a tale transporting us back two decades to turn of the century Beirut influenced by Kahlil’s own life journey. Adapted for the stage by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment with Bonnie Comley and Stewart F Lane, with a Middle Eastern score by duo Nadim Naaman and Dana Al Fardan, the team craft the novel into a romantic resonant musical for our times. Graduate of the Guildford School of Acting Lucca Chadwick-Patel takes on the role of Young Khalil Gibran, the show’s lead protagonist. Currently showing at the Charing Cross Theatre, Lucca tells us more about what drew him to take part in the production, how he’s approached preparing for the role and what it’s meant to him to be a part of Broken Wings!

Hi Lucca, you’ll be starring in Broken Wingsat the Charing Cross Theatre from the 11thFebruary until the 26th March. How are you feeling ahead of the production?

I’m feeling very excited – We’re so grateful to have the chance to tell Kahlil Gibran’s story. We are well into rehearsals now andI really do think it’s going to be a very special show.

Broken Wings is based on best selling author, Kahlil Gibran’s novel – a tale of ill-fated love set in 1920s New York, as an ageing Gibran narrates a tale transporting us back two decades to turn of the century Beirut. What drew you to take part in the production?

I had a friend who was part of the production that toured the Middle East back in 2019, and listening to the show back then I fell in love with the music and what the show represents. It was one of the first shows that I engaged with that featured actors who looked like me, so when it came around this time and I was lucky enough to get cast! It really did feel like a full circle moment.

You’re taking on the role of Young Kahlil Gibran, how have you prepared for the role?

As soon as I got the show, my dad sent me the original novel, and that then led me onto research on his life, which by the way is truly remarkable – His forward thinking and feminist ideologies, his respect and championing of women were so before his time. It’s the first role I’ve had the opportunity to play so to portray a version of him is an honour that I don’t take for granted.

You recently graduated from Guildford School of Acting, what have you taken away from your time training there?

GSA was a wonderful experience; I met true friends for life and learned and grew with them through some of the hardest times I’ve ever experienced and against all the odds we came out standing. To have trained during the pandemic was a feat that we’ll always have with us, and the resilience and lessons that that taught me are ones that I hope to carry with for the rest of my career.

What have you learned/taken away from being apart of this production?

I’ve never been a part of a group that was fully MENA & SA like me before, and the community and kinship I already feel alongside them is something that is very special to me. Learning about their heritages and shared experiences is teaching me so much about them but also myself and my experiences, and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do that alongside the piece that we’re all creating.

What can audiences expect from the show?

It’s certainly a rollercoaster – especially for Gibran, but I hope that you’re transported to Beirut through the soaring score and world that’s being built by the team onstage and behind the scenes.

What would you like for audiences to take away from the show?

The piece is set at the turn of 20th century, but the issues and themes are still so relevant today. An old story, for today, which is why I think Broken Wings is so relevant for our audiences.

Questions by Lucy Basaba.

Broken Wings is currently showing until Saturday 26th March 2022 at the Charing Cross Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop