The Offering

Spoken word concert by Omar Musa and Mariel Roberts
Australia / USA
34OST Festivalzentrum
ehem. Conrad Electronic
So 7 Juli 2024 20:00

Oststraße 34
40211 Düsseldorf
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Ticket prices:
Adv. booking 18 Euro, conc. 9 Euro
Box office 22 Euro, conc. 11 Euro
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Duration: 60 min.
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The event is accessible for wheelchair users.


The multi-award-winning Australian author, poet and rapper Omar Musa and the internationally renowned American cellist and composer Mariel Roberts bring a dramatic seafaring monologue to the stage with “The Offering”. The stirring music, poetry and theatre performance is rooted in the tradition of oral histories and explores themes of environmental damage, belonging and boundlessness, using Omar’s family history in Southeast Asia as inspiration. The show combines storytelling, poetry, hip-hop and live music with sound recordings made in the forests and ocean off the island of Borneo in the Malay Archipelago. 

Omar’s ancestors were famous for their seafaring activities as traders, explorers and raiders, be it the Suluk (“men of the currents”) who plied the waters between East Borneo and the southern Philippines, or the Bugis, Southeast Asia’s most famous seafarers. In modern Borneo, however, both groups are often regarded as unwanted and as illegal immigrants, while their ancestral waters are being destroyed by climate change, overfishing and pollution throughout the archipelago.

In “The Offering”, a protagonist from a country torn apart by war and climate change travels across the ocean to a mythical volcano where he seeks destruction by self-immolation, but instead finds revelation and a vision of a world without borders.

Omar Musa has published three books of poetry, a novel, four hip-hop albums and the acclaimed one-man play “Since Ali Died”. Musa’s work of poetry and woodcuts, “Killernova”, won the Special Book Award at the ACT Notable Book Awards, was longlisted for the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal and received an honourable mention for ACT Book of The Year. His debut novel, “Here Come the Dogs”, won the People’s Choice Award at the ACT Book of Year Awards, was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award and the Miles Franklin Award, and Musa was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year. He won the People’s Choice Award at the ACT Book of Year Awards and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for New Writing and the South Australian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction.

Mariel Roberts is not only known for her musical virtuosity. Her artistic work combines avant-garde, contemporary, classical, improvised and traditional music, and her performances are bursting with “unbearable intensity” (The Whole Note). Roberts has performed as a soloist and chamber musician on four continents, most notably as a member and co-leader of the Wet Ink Ensemble (recognised by the New York Times as ‘Best Classical Ensemble of 2018’), as well as with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Bang on a Can All Stars and Ensemble Signal. Roberts has released three solo albums featuring her own material.

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What the press says:

“Omar Musa is a revelation on stage: inspiring and articulate, with an upbeat comic presence and an emotional authenticity.” (Cameron Woodhead Reviews)

“Mariel Robert’s performances are technically brilliant, but the cellist is not only a virtuoso but also a fearless explorer with a keen curatorial mind.” (Chicago Reader)

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A production by Omar Musa and Mariel Roberts in co-production with asphalt Festival


with Omar Musa and Mariel Roberts

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