The 9th edition of the National Theatre Festival attracts large audiences interested exploring offerings from a variety of troupes: independent creators, university theatre groups, troupes operating under the culture palaces scattered across the governorates, private theatres and others.
Ahram Online picks a few plays not to miss during the second week (27 July – 2 August) of the festival.
Scroll to the end of the recommendations to see the festival’s complete programme.
Aqnat El-Malaeka (The Masks of Angels)
Produced by the Palace of Culture Qasr Al-Tawzoq in Alexandria, directed by Refaat Abdel-Alim, the play won an award from the local theatre club. The play was written by Notis Peryalis in 1959.
In the intro, the playwright clarifies that he wrote the play to bring justice to the frustrated and disadvantaged.
Masks of Angles tells the story of two Greek mask vendors – Margo, a former prostitute, and Petro a crippled beggar – who meet and talk about their memories and misfortunes. Each sells four masks symbolizing an angel, happiness, sadness and death.
Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 July, 7pm
Zaki Tolaimat Hall in Taliaa Theatre, Attaba, Cairo
Al-Leil Ghona wa Al-Dahab (The Night of Singing and Gold)
Aqnat El-Malaeka (Photo: courtesy of the Naitonal Theatre Festival's administration)
Written and directed by Ahmed Abu Kheneiger and directed by Mohamed Fouad, Mohamed Shahat and Ossama Abdel Raouf, the play Al-Leil Ghona wa Al-Dahab is staged by a local troupe of the southern border town of Shalateen on the Red Sea. This is the first time for Shalatine to participate in the National Theatre Festival.
During the 45-minute performance, the creators introduce us to the folkloric and traditional cultural elements of the region, presented through a simple story.
Sunday 31 July and Monday 1 August
El-Midan Open Air Theatre, Cairo Opera grounds, Zamalek, Cairo
Al-Leil Ghona wa Al-Dahab (Photo: courtesy of the Naitonal Theatre Festival's administration)
Written and directed by Dalia Basiouny and staged by Sabeel troupe, the performance evokes the secrets of the theater scene in Egypt.
Through the story of an independent theatre company, the play seeks to highlight the many problems experienced by actors and theatre owners, whether they are social issues faced particularily by women performers, or the hardships that come with the theatrical production process.
In the background of the play, the troupe also describes the political situation in Egypt in recent years and its impact on the art scene.
Wednesday 27 July and Thursday 28 July 9pm
Hanager Theatre, Cairo Opera Grounds, Zamalek, Cairo
In his new play titled Inbox, playwright and theatre professor Sameh Maran takes us behind the screens of laptops and computers. As actors relive on stage the world of Facebook, they reveal its effects on today’s society.
Moving continuously between the reality and illusion, and discovering the details of this unique hyperreality, we meet the real and fictional characters from Facebook pages and groups.
The play was produced by Al-Ghad and directed by Galal Osman featuring the renowned actor Hassan Abdel-Rehim as the protagonist.
Friday 29 Saturday 30 July, 7pm
El Ghad Theatre, near Agouza Circus and El-Ballon Theatre, Agouza, Cairo
Saheb El-Somow (His Highness)
His Highness, directed by Mohamed Morsi, is produced by the Cultural Development Fund as part of the art project Theatre in All Spaces.
The project aims at infusing the historical locations that are also used as artistic centres with theatre performances. Within the same initiative, last year the Fund presented a play titled Al-Amir (The Prince) which centred around the life of Prince Taz from the Mameluk era, and was performed at Amir Taz Palace.
In it’s turn, Saheb El-Somow follows the story of Sultan Qansuh El-Ghouri, the last Mameluk sultan.
Thursday 28 and Friday 29 July, 9pm
El-Ghoury Complex, El-Azhar
Saheb El-Somow (Photo: courtesy of the Naitonal Theatre Festival's administration)
Complete programme of the 9th National Theatre Festival:
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